LONDON ArcelorMittal SAs iron ore production increased to 15 million tonnes in the second quarter, up 4 percent from 14.4 million tonnes in the same period last year, thanks to higher output at its Canadian and Liberian operations, the company said Aug. 1.
However, iron ore shipments remained unchanged at 8.2 million tonnes in the same comparison.
Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal said underlying profitability in 2013 was still expected to improve despite revising its earnings forecast for the year downward to $6.5 million.
Increased profitability will be driven by an approximate 20-percent increase in marketable iron ore shipments, the company said.
Earnings during the period dropped 33 percent on weak steel demand in the European market and lower prices.
ArcelorMittal is ramping up its Liberian iron ore operations to 15 million tonnes per year after its board approved the $1.5-billion expansion in March.
The companys Canadian iron ore capacity expansion is now largely completed, ArcelorMittal said, with output expected to increase to a run rate of 24 million tonnes per year by the end of 2013.
A version of this article was first published in AMM sister publication Steel First.