Engineering & Mining Journal

APR 2019

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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NEWS-LEADING DEVELOPMENTS 4 E&MJ • APRIL 2019 Iron Bridge Magnetite Project Gets Approval Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. subsidiary FMG Magnetite Pty Ltd. and joint-venture partner Formosa Steel IB Pty Ltd. have approved the development of Stage 2 of the Iron Bridge Magnetite Project. It is lo- cated 145 kilometers (km) south of Port Hedland and owned through an unincor- porated joint venture between FMG Iron Bridge Ltd., which has 69%, and Formo- sa, which owns 31%. FMG Magnetite Pty Ltd. is a subsidiary of FMG IB, a Hong Kong-registered company owned by Forte- scue, 88%, and a subsidiary of Baosteel Resources International Co. Ltd., 12%. Total Stage 2 capital costs are US$2.6 billion. This Stage 2 development follows the US$500 million investment in the successful Stage 1 construction of large- scale pilot and demonstration plants, which have validated key equipment and magnetite production processes for the full-scale Stage 2 ore processing facility, according to Fortescue. "The Iron Bridge Project holds Aus- tralia's largest JORC compliant magnetite resource supporting a long mine life," Fortescue Chief Executive Officer Eliz- abeth Gaines said. "The successful de- livery of the project by the joint-venture partners is underpinned by Fortescue's unparalleled track record and capability in safely developing and operating major iron ore projects in the Pilbara." Gaines said the project is well pro- gressed and ready for detailed design and execution with the majority of key approv- als in place. The design includes the use of a dry crushing and grinding circuit. "Our focus has been to create the most energy and cost-efficient ore pro- cessing facility, tailored to the specific ore we will mine," she added. "We are now ready to build this plant and devel- op this mine, and are confident that our early work will support rapid progress to full production." The Iron Bridge Project will deliver a product with iron content of 67%. "When combined with the Eliwana development, it will increase Fortescue's average product grade and provide the ability to deliver the majority of our prod - ucts at greater than 60% Fe, consistent with our long-term goal," Gaines said. Wilfred Wang, standing member of Formosa Plastics Group Executive Man- agement Committee, said, "We believe the premium product from the Iron Bridge Project will be very competi- tive, particularly as steel mills are now looking to increase productivity. The high-quality product will be able to be used for both sintering and pelletizing and, for Formosa, will increase the op- tions for raw material supply available to its steel mill in Vietnam." Debswana Investing $2B to Extend Life of Jwaneng Mine Debswana Diamond Co., a 50/50 joint ven- ture between the government of Botswana and De Beers Group, has initiated its Cut- 9 project to extend the life of the Jwaneng mine in Botswana to 2035. The project is expected to yield an estimated 53 million carats of rough diamonds from 44 million metric tons (mt) of treated material. Debswana will invest approximately $2 billion over the life of the Cut-9 project, underpinning the partnership's commit- ment to the future of Botswana's diamond industry. Debswana's shareholders have approved the project's budget for 2019, and the next phase of work has begun. At its peak, the Cut-9 project is ex- pected to create more than 1,000 jobs, the majority of which will be held by Bo- tswana citizens. A local contract has been awarded to Majwe Mining, a joint venture between Bothakga Burrow Botswana and Thiess Botswana, to provide mining ser- vices. The value of the contract is $1.2 billion. Work covered includes drill and on-bench services, mine planning, equip- ment maintenance, load and haul, and mining operations. "The extension of Jwaneng mine se- cures Botswana's rightful place as a lead- ing diamond-producing nation for years to come," Debswana Chairman Bruce Cleaver said. "With global consumer de- mand for diamonds reaching record levels in 2018, the extension will enable us to continue to meet the needs of our con- sumers all over the world. "We are deeply proud of the central role Jwaneng mine has played in Botswana's remarkable development story and of the role this investment will play in its future." Additional programs accompanying the new investment include establishing an apprentice and artisan training center and a component-rebuild center, which is expected to mature into a self-sustain- ing business within three years from the launch of the project. Jwaneng is one of the world's most valuable diamond mines as measured by dollar value per carat recovered. The Iron Bridge ore processing facility (above) will grow significantly during the expansion. (Photo: Formosa Energy)

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