Engineering & Mining Journal

JUN 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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REGIONAL NEWS - AUSTRALIA/OCEANIA 24 E&MJ • JUNE 2019 www.e-mj.com Fortescue Approves Development of Queens Valley Fortescue has announced the develop- ment of the Queens Valley mining area at its Solomon Hub in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Development of Queens will maintain production of the low-alumi- na Kings Fines product and is consistent with Fortescue's strategy of optimizing margin through an enhanced product mix. "Fortescue's integrated operations and marketing strategy defines a product portfolio that maximizes value from the Fortescue orebodies over the long term, ensuring the continued delivery of returns to shareholders," Fortescue Chief Execu- tive Officer Elizabeth Gaines said. "The Queens mining area development will maintain our highly valued Kings Fines low-alumina sinter fines product, which supplies Fortescue's key customers in China as well as in Japan and Korea." The Queens development is located approximately 15 kilometers (km) from the Kings ore processing facility (OPF) and has an expected life between 10-15 years, with an initial strip ratio of 1.4, maintaining Fortescue's low operating cost of production. Environmental and heritage approvals are in place to com- mence the development of Queens. Total capital expenditures for the Queens Valley development are estimated at US$287 million and will be incurred as follows: Fortescue FY19 US$10 million, FY20 US$151 million, FY21 US$98 mil- lion, and FY22 US$28 million. The Queens Valley development will include construction of an innovative hy- draulic barrier wall in accordance with environmental approvals. It will also in- clude the relocation of the Solomon mo- bile maintenance facilities closer to the Queens Valley operation to minimize travel distances, lower operating costs, and pro- vide access to additional tonnes in the vi- cinity of the Kings ore processing facility. Fortesue's Solomon Hub is located 60 km north of Tom Price and 120 km west of the company's Chichester Hub. It currently comprises the Firetail and Kings Valley mines, which together have production capacity of 70 million mt/y. Solomon represents a valuable source of production by blending higher-iron- grade, low-cost Firetail ore with low-phos- phorous Chichester ore to create the high-quality Fortescue blend. Fortescue successfully deployed CAT autonomous haulage technology at the Sol- omon Hub in 2012. Today, the autonomous haulage fleet consists of 70 trucks, deliver- ing a 30% improvement in productivity. West Angelas Mine Expansion Gets Environmental Approval The Western Australia Environmental Pro- tection Authority (EPA) has recommended approval of the expansion of River Robe Joint Venture's West Angelas iron ore mine in the Pilbara region. The approval is sub- ject to conditions, including the protec- tion of national park water resources and threatened ghost bats, the EPA said. The recommendation comes after a public review process and assessment of the environmental impacts of the proposal to expand to open-cut mining at West Ange- las, which is owned 53% by Rio Tinto, 33% by Mitsui & Co. Ltd. and 14% by Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp., by 4,100 hectares to 26,700 ha, taking it to within 2 kilometers of Karijini National Park. The EPA recommended a condition for managed aquifer recharge to main- tain groundwater levels at the Karijini National Park. To further protect the national park from up to 12 gigaliters per year of proposed sur- plus water discharge into Turee Creek East, and minimize the impact on riparian vege- tation, the EPA recommended conditions, including rigorous monitoring under an en- vironmental management plan (EMP). To offset the residual impact of ad- ditional clearing, the EPA recommended contributions to the Pilbara Environmen- tal Offset Fund. "This assessment work and recom- mended conditions constitute a compre- hensive approach to management of envi- ronmental impacts, following a proactive approach by the proponent and extensive consultation with the EPA," EPA Deputy Chair Robert Harvey said. The EPA's report is open for a public appeal period until May 27. Work is expected to start later this year at West Angelas, with first ore being deliv- ered in 2021. Bristow Discusses SML Extension for Porgera With New PNG Government Barrick President and CEO Mark Bristow, along with Zijin Executive Director and Se- nior Vice President George Fang, met with Papua New Guinea's (PNG) new Prime Minister James Marape and reaffirmed the company's commitment to working with the PNG government and local communities to ensure the Porgera gold mine continues to deliver value to its stakeholders past the ex- piration of the current Special Mining Lease Production from Queens Valley will feed into the Solomon Hub (above), which currently processes 70 million mt of iron ore.

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