Owing to its growing population and urbanization, China's requirement for key steelmaking ingredient iron ore will continue to keep improving until the next decade, Murilo Ferreira, Vale's Chief Executive, said on Monday.
The state government of West Australia has rejected requests by Fortescue Metals Group to delay the payment of some more than A$200 million in royalties as the iron ore miner pursues its ambitious expansion plans.
Speaking at a Credit Suisse conference in Hong Kong on Monday, he said the Asian country's demand for the raw commodity could hit 1 billion tonnes on the back of increased steel production needed to augur for the production and manufacturing of houses and rail roads, among others.
"I think we are going to see growth in the market for steel until 2022, 2023, even 2024," Mr Ferreira told the conference.
"We are very confident about the future of the steel business in China. I don't think we will see a lot of consolidation."
"It is very important for each of the provinces in China to see their steel mills and projects going well as they provide a good foundation for each province."
Iron ore miners have experienced a downhill when the steelmaking commodity dropped below $90 a tonne in late 2012 prompted by a demand slowdown from China. Iron ore has since recently traded around $130 a dry metric tonne due to renewed appetite from the world's biggest consumer.
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