Week in Review: January 2021 MMI is out; what’s in store for iron ore?; Oyu Tolgoi expansion faces pushback

January 2021 MMI trends chartBefore we head into the weekend, let’s take a quick look back at the week that was and the metals storylines here on MetalMiner, including the release of the January 2021 MMI, a look at what might happen to the iron ore price and much more.
Inauguration Day draws near for President-elect Joe Biden, leaving metals industry groups to wonder what happens next for President Donald Trump’s signature metals policy: Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Whether Biden ultimately chooses to maintain those measures or do away with them remains to be seen, but metals watchers will be eyeing those developments closely.
As for metals prices, some price gains slowed down amid the festive season, but some have resumed their upward ascent in early 2021. Copper, for example, crossed the $8,100 per metric ton threshold earlier this month.

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So, without further ado, let’s take a quick look back at the week that was:

Week of Jan. 11-15 (January 2021 MMI, iron ore and more)

  • The January 2021 MMI report is available for download. Visit the MMI landing page for additional details on the report, which compiles all of MetalMiner’s monthly MMI analyses into one convenient PDF.
  • What does 2021 hold for the iron ore price? Stuart Burns took a look at the steelmaking material’s year ahead.
  • The Oyu Tolgoi copper mine expansion project is under pressure after the Mongolian government expressed concerns with respect to rising costs.
  • The U.K. needs to strengthen its electric vehicle supply chain, Burns explained.
  • The $2.3 trillion COVID relief and government funding bill signed by President Donald Trump last month included more than $800 million for rare earths research.
  • The U.S. steel sector’s capacity utilization rate reached 75.4% last week.
  • The gold price retraced after surging to start the year.
  • First Cobalt announced it had reached refinery feedstock deals with Glencore and IXM.
  • Several industry groups penned a letter urging President-elect Joe Biden to maintain existing steel tariffs and quotas.
  • Copper prices picked up this month after a slower December.
  • Steel prices continued to surge last month, MetalMiner’s Maria Rosa Gobitz wrote.
  • Miner Rio Tinto and Meridian Energy reached a deal on the Tiwai Point aluminum smelter.
  • Allegheny Technologies Limited announced it will exit the standard stainless steel sheet product market.
  • Sohrab Darabshaw on India’s reported find of a lithium deposit that could help the country move away from lithium import dependence.
  • U.S. import prices in December rose by the greatest amount since August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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