I wonder how many of the WA iron ore mines will become stranded assets as China progressively source their needs from non-Australian mines?
Gudai-Darri (Koodaideri) Pilbara Western Australia
In 2018 Rio Tinto approved funding for their $2.6 billion Gudai-Darri (Koodaideri) iron ore project – set to be the firm’s most intelligent mine. Gudai-Darri will sustain existing production in their [color=#000000][font=inherit, serif]Pilbara iron ore system. The project will incorporate a processing plant, associated infrastructure and a 166-kilometre rail line. Construction is progressing, with production ramp-up expected in early 2022.[/font][/color]
Yes I think about 70 of line is now ballasted.
It also depends on what media reports you believe, a couple made it sound as though the "end is nigh" within a few months, then others with more knowledge of the industry are saying "within 10 years". !0 years in mining is a long time. The South African continent deposits keep getting raised as the biggest threat but they need a lot of work to get on stream. The tonnages of deposits mentioned on many company webpages for these deposits indicate if China turned off the Pilbara tap completely would (at Pilbara production levels) be depleted within 3- 5 years.
M636 comments on Pilbara production costs is spot on as they are among the lowest in the world and just the cost of transport in and from other continents equate to the Pilbara total cost.
There will no doubt be some market adjustments and it does not seem that many years ago that Japan was our major iron ore customer!!