Consmin manganese ore shipments from Port Hedland to China delayed by coronavirus-related disruption

Manganese ore producer Consolidated Minerals (Consmin) has had to delay shipments to China from Port Hedland in Western Australia as a result of disruption caused by the novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) outbreak.

“Due to the coronavirus, we have struggled to get vessels to take all our February tonnage, so our February [cargoes] will be sailing in March,” a spokesman told Fastmarkets on Monday February 24. “It is likely our March vessel will sail early in April.”

Consmin’s wholly owned subsidiary Pilbara Manganese produces higher-grade ore at its Woodie Woodie open-pit mine in Western Australia.

The manganese ore price has staged a slow recovery since hitting a multi-year low of $3.68 per dry metric tonne unit (dmtu) more than a year ago on February 1, 2019.

Fastmarkets’ manganese ore 44% Mn, cif Tianjin, index rose 14 cents or 3.1% to $4.70 per dmtu on Friday February 21.

“No changes are planned to our annual targets,” the spokesman said. “It is just a slight delay at the moment, which we expect to catch up.”

In the first six weeks of the year, flooding delayed overland haulage operations, causing a 20-day delay in manganese ore deliveries to Port Hedland, the company added.