BHP Advances Send Kumba Iron Ore Higher

Kumba Iron Ore’s (JSE: KIO) share price surged 4.5% on Friday, defying recent disappointing production figures and a year-to-date depreciation of over 20%. This positive movement follows a potential game-changer in the mining industry – a proposed mega-merger. BHP, the world’s largest mining giant, has offered to acquire rival Anglo American, which holds a significant stake in Kumba Iron Ore. While Anglo American initially rejected the offer, negotiations are ongoing. 

The proposed deal structure involves divesting Kumba Iron Ore, making its future operations and ownership uncertain. However, for Kumba investors, the potential upside lies in the synergies a BHP acquisition could bring. BHP’s established presence in copper mining could be seen as “striking gold” for Kumba, especially considering the growing demand for copper in the energy transition. Additionally, BHP’s expertise in metallurgical coal could further strengthen Kumba’s position. 

However, significant hurdles remain. South African logistical bottlenecks are causing export headaches, leading to a 10% decline in Kumba’s first-quarter sales. The iron ore market itself has also pulled back in Q1 2024. These factors could be seen as a “logistical nightmare” for Kumba. 

Technical Analysis 

Despite Friday’s jump, Kumba Iron Ore’s share price remains below key moving averages (50-SMA, 100-SMA, and 200-SMA). This indicates a bearish trend in the medium to long term. The recent break of the 50-SMA below the 100-SMA and 200-SMA further reinforces this bearish outlook. The RSI hovering around 50 suggests the stock is neither overbought nor oversold. 

A failed recovery attempt could see the price fall towards the immediate support level of 41,070 cents. A sustained break below this level would expose Kumba Iron Ore to further downside pressure, potentially reaching 36,688 cents and the major support zone at 33,968 cents. 

Conversely, a bullish breakout would face initial resistance at 54,479 cents, with significant volume needed to overcome the resistance provided by the SMAs. A successful push above this level could target 59,012 cents and 63,798 cents in the short term. 


Kumba Iron Ore’s share price finds itself caught between the positive influence of a potential mega-merger and the headwinds of operational challenges and a weak iron ore market. Technically, the bearish trend remains dominant, with a potential downside towards 33,968 cents if support levels are breached. However, a break above 54,479 cents could signal a short-term bullish reversal. 

Sources: TradingView, Trading Economics, Reuters, 

Piece written by Mfanafuthi Mhlongo, Trive Financial Market Analyst 

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