A dockside ceremony was conducted April 30 to commemorate the launch of a venture by scrap metal exporter SA Recycling to distribute iron ore from the Port of Long Beach.
SA Recycling is working with CML Metals Corp. to send iron ore from mines in California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah to Asia in order to meet the growing demand for raw materials in the booming overseas steel industry.
The iron ore exports, which began earlier this spring, are the first from Long Beach in 40 years.
“I’m really excited about it,” SA Recycling President and CEO George Adams said. “The price of iron ore is starting to rise to the point where you can afford to mine it and ship it to China, South Korea, Malaysia and other Asian markets.”
At prices nearing $140 per metric ton, iron ore is a rising commodity in the US economy. The raw material is abundant in the western US and the demand in Asia’s rising.
After a year of planning, SA kicked off the venture by loading and sending its first 50,000-ton shipment of the raw material to China in late March. The company and port say that if market demand remains strong, SA Recycling could export more than a million tons of iron ore this year.
“The (Long Beach Harbor) Commission appreciates our industry partners’ efforts to find new business, especially export business, at the port,” Commission Vice President Thomas Fields, who attended the ceremony, said. “We’re delighted that the port was able to assist SA in expanding into the iron ore market.”
SA Recycling has operated a break bulk terminal at Pier T for more than 15 years, and also operates a scrap metal export facility at the Port of Los Angeles. It’s the largest scrap metal processor in the southwestern United States, operating a total of 55 recycling facilities in three states and recycling more than 2.5 million tons of scrap annually, according to the company.