Brockman Mining hopes to unlock the potential of its Marillana project in the Pilbara through an agreement that will give it access to BBI Group’s (BBIG) proposed iron ore infrastructure facility in the region.
BBIG, which is majority owned by New Zealand’s Todd Corporation, plans to construct a $5.6 billion facility on the Pilbara coast between Karratha and Port Hedland, with a 162km railway linking it to iron ore deposits in the region.
The company signed a state agreement with the Western Australian Government and a memorandum of understanding with China State Construction Engineering Corporation as lead construction contractor for the project earlier this year.
If developed, the Marillana project, one of the largest independently-owned iron ore reserves in the Pilbara with a mineral resource estimate of 1630 million tonnes, would have access to BBIG’s proposed infrastructure, according to the agreement between the two companies.
Under the agreement, BBIG will progress a definitive feasibility study (DFS) at Marillana. Once the DFS has been completed and a final investment decision made, BBIG will earn a 50 per cent interest in a joint venture at Marillana by funding 75 per cent of the project’s construction costs and arranging financing for the development.
The agreement will also see Brockman grant BBIG a pre-emptive right over the Ophthalmia iron ore project.
BBIG chief executive Nicholas Curtis described Marillana as a “very significant” undeveloped Pilbara iron ore deposit.
“The addition of an interest in Marillana to BBIG’s existing Pilbara iron ore assets, which include the Hay Stack Flat tenements and an option over the Weelamurra deposit, provides further flexibility for BBIG to underpin the development of its port and rail infrastructure,” Curtis said.
“We are delighted to be participating in the project and to be providing the infrastructure to unlock its potential.
“This development also demonstrates the attractiveness of the multi-user solution that the BBI project provides to Pilbara iron ore resource owners.”
Brockman business development director Hendrianto Tee said the Marillana farm-in and JV agreement delivered a willing and competent partner for the company.
“Brockman has always believed that the path for development of Marillana will emerge from co-operation between infrastructure and mine developers,” Tee said.
“This is what has been achieved. As befits such a high quality iron ore deposite, with involvement of BBIG, Marillana will now be in the leading position for the next development phase in the Pilbara.”
Curtis said the signing of the state agreement and the MoU had generated significant interest from owners of iron ore deposits in the Pilbara that did not have access to transportation infrastructure.
“Port and rail access is a precondition to large-scale, low-cost iron ore production in the Pilbara. BBIG has designed its central rail corridor directly south from Balla Balla Port so that it can spur east or west to iron ore deposits that would otherwise be stranded thus generating employment, royalty revenue and economic growth for Western Australia,” Curtis said.