Brazils Cia. Siderúrgica Nacional SA (CSN) expects
to export 4 million tonnes more iron ore in 2013 than it did
last year, mining director Daniel dos Santos said during a
conference call with analysts and investors.
"Sales this year should (return
to) the same level as 2011, with 29 million tonnes of exports,"
The Rio de Janeiro-based
companys iron ore sales fell 12 percent to 25.8 million
tonnes in 2012, of which exports totaled 25.1 million tonnes,
due mainly to lower production as a result of heavy rainfall in
Brazils Minas Gerais state early last year.
The company expects sales to
increase this year despite an operational problem that has
affected first-quarter shipments from the companys Casa
de Pedra iron ore mine.
Overall, CSN expects to ship
around 36 million tonnes of iron ore this year. More than 6
million tonnes will feed the companys
5.6-million-tonne-per-year steel operation in Volta Redonda,
about 75 miles northwest of Rio de Janeiro.
The total includes iron ore
produced by both the Casa de Pedra Mine and the Nacional
Minérios SA (Namisa) joint venture, which is 60-percent
owned by CSN. It also includes Namisas iron ore purchases
from third parties.
CSN recently increased handling
capacity at its Tecar iron ore terminal at the Itaguaí
port in Rio de Janeiro state to 45 million tonnes per year from
30 million tonnes previously.
The company plans to increase
Casa de Pedras production capacity to some 40 million
tonnes per year by the end of 2013 from 21 million tonnes
currently, Santos said during the conference call.
Casa de Pedras capacity
will later be expanded to 50 million tonnes per year, while
Namisa will be able to sell as much as 39 million tonnes per
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister
publication Steel First.