Atlas Iron it is on track to quadruple its Pilbara iron ore exports to six million tonnes per annum by the end of the year, after commencing mining at its Wodgina Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) project yesterday.
Wodgina is the company’s second iron ore project after Pardoo, which commenced mining in 2008.
Atlas believes the production from both mines as well the completion of the new multi-user port facilities at Utah Point, will pave the way for the significant increase in exports.
The company expects the port will be ready by 17 September, after a Delta 7500 tonne per hour ship loader to Port Hedland was delivered earlier this month.
“Our new projects team have not only delivered our second mine in as many years, they have set up a strong culture focused on safety and performance,” Atlas managing director David Flanagan said.
“It is one thing to make discoveries, but it is very much another to turn them into mines.
“Wodgina represents a great opportunity to create real value for our shareholders as we build a great iron ore company.”
Atlas will commence ore processing in July and road train haulage of up to 107 tonnes of ore per unit into Port Hedland in August.
Ore from Pardoo is currently being stockpiled at Port Hedland in preparation for ship loading through Utah.
The company said it had already stockpiled 165,000 tonnes.
The company last week announced the discovery of a direct shipping grade iron ore prospect at Wodgina.
The new ‘Hercules’ prospect lies three kilometres from the existing mine infrastructure, which is itself 110 km south of Port Hedland.
Flanagan said the discovery had the potential to generate significant value and extend mine life.
“As the team continues to find new deposits, the Wodgina project is becoming the company maker we always thought it could be,” he said.