Junior miner gets project approval in Pilbara

Pilbara iron ore junior Iron Ore Holdings has been given the go-ahead for its Iron Valley Project mining proposal.

The WA Department of Mines and Petroleum approved the proposal on Wednesday for above water table mining in the central Pilbara area, along with the water licence needed for long-term operations at Iron Valley.

The approvals make up IOH’s responsibilities as stipulated in an agreement with Minerals Resources (MIN) in February this year.

IOH announced an upgraded resource of 160 million tonnes at its Valley Project in 2009. This was 80 per cent over the company’s earlier announcement of 88 million tonnes.

IOH managing director Alwyn Vorster said the two approvals are an important step towards the company generating revenue through the mine gate payment structure.

“The Iron Valley approval is the second approval for mining operations, which IOH secured in a relatively short period, with the Phil’s Creek development currently under way by MIN.

“It is further evidence of IOH successfully executing its find, de-risk and monetise strategy at relatively low risk to its shareholders,” Vorster said in a statement.

“With the Iron Valley Project now advancing towards development, the next key focus for IOH will be securing Buckland Project funding solutions with a selected project partner and finalising the Cape Preston East port lease agreements with the Dampier Port Authority.”

IOH signed an agreement with Fortescue Metals Group early last year which allowed Fortescue to expand its Nyidinghu project into IOH tenements.

IOH said the memorandum between the two companies gave Fortescue the choice until March this year to acquire a licence to mine the Iron Valley.

The company also signed a native title deal with the Yaburara Mardudhunera peoples last year to guarantee the future expansion of its projects.

The company said the deal encompassed payments before and after mining and shipping began.

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