Engineering & Mining Journal

JUN 2018

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 2018 www.e-mj.com Fortescue Celebrates 10 years of Iron Ore Exports Fortescue Metals Group recently celebrat- ed 10 years of iron ore exports resulting in more than 1 billion metric tons (mt) of contribution to Australia's economic growth. A decade ago, Fortescue shipped its first 180,000 mt of iron ore aboard the cape size vessel Heng Shan from Herb Elliott Port in Port Hedland. Since then, the company has become one of the low- est-cost and most-efficient suppliers of seaborne iron ore into China. Speaking at the celebration event at Cloudbreak, Western Australia, Fortes- cue's original mine site, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Fortescue has changed the face of the Pilbara and the Australian mining industry. "Fortescue has contrib- uted to the economic strength of our na- tion, providing employment and training opportunities for thousands of people including Indigenous workers, significant contracts that benefit local communities as well as playing a key role in the Austra- lia-China relationship," Bishop said. Fortescue Founder and Chairman Andrew Forrest said, "From the first dis- covery hole drilled at Cloudbreak to now sustaining consistent production at 170 million mt/y, Fortescue is truly an Austra- lian success story. Ten years ago, I said Australia now had a new flagship com- pany and today Fortescue continues to proudly wave that flag." Forrest also acknowledged Fortescue's long-term relationship with its Chinese customers, which has played a critical role in the company's growth. "We are proud of our contribution to China's re- markable economic development and our role in supporting the important trade relationship between China and Australia which has been vital to driving economic growth in both nations," he said. "There is an exciting future ahead. We look forward to continuing to invest in the long-term sustainability of our core iron ore business in the Pilbara and ensuring that local communities continue to bene- fit from our growth and development." Metro Ships First Bauxite From Bauxite Hills Mine Metro Mining has shipped the first di- rect shipping ore from its Bauxite Hills mine in northern Queensland to the Xinfa Group aluminum company in China. Xinfa has signed a binding agreement with Met- ro to take 1 million mt of bauxite during the first year of Bauxite Hills operations and 2 million metric tons per year (mt/y) for the following three years. The initial shipment totaled 62,000 mt. Xinfa owns and operates alumina re- fineries and aluminum smelters in Shan- dong, Shanxi, Guangxi and Xinjiang prov- inces, China. The Bauxite Hills mine is located near the west coast of the Cape York peninsula about 95 km north of Weipa, Queensland. Mining operations began in mid-April 2018. Current mining is based on 92.2 million mt of reserves, sufficient to provide a 17-year mine life. Potential exists to extend mine life by conversion of resources to reserves and through ex- ploration on the company's approximately 1,800-km 2 land package. Mining at Bauxite Hills is a simple operation, with free-digging bauxite mined by front-end loaders, loaded onto trucks, and hauled between 6 km and 22 km to a barge-loading facility on the Skardon River. Mining is planned at an initial rate of 2 million mt/y, ramping up to a steady- state 6 million mt/y over the first four years. Government approvals are in place to mine up to 10 million mt/y. Mining operations will be undertaken in the dry season only, approximately an eight-month period from April to Novem- ber. When fully operational, the mine will employ up to 200 people, with a 30% in- digenous workforce target and around 80 people on site at any one time. PFS Supports Development of Agrimin's Mackay Project Agrimin Ltd. has announced the results of a prefeasibility study (PFS) of its Mackay sulphate of potash (SOP) project on Lake Mackay 785 km south of the Port of Wyn- dham, Western Australia. Lake Mackay is a vast salt lake, with a surface area of about 4,500 km 2 on the border of West- ern Australia and the Northern Territory. The Mackay project PFS calls for pro- duction of 426,000 metric tons per year (mt/y) of SOP over an initial mine life of 20 years. Cash costs of production are estimated at $222/mt of SOP FOB Wynd- ham. Capital costs to develop the project are estimated at $409 million, including a $53 million contingency. The payback period is forecast at 4.2 years. The fi rst train loaded with Fortescue iron ore rolls toward the port 10 years ago.

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