SÃO PAULO 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," he said.
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 year.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.