CU River to invest $800m on Cairn Hill expansion

The Cairn Hill mine

CU River Mining has secured an agreement that will fund an $800 million expansion of the Cairn Hill iron ore mine in South Australia.

Privately-owned CU River, which acquired the mothballed operation near Coober Pedy in 2014, plans to lift production at the magnetite mine to 15 million tonnes (Mt) per annum.

CU River reached a one million tonne production target at the site in August, about 12 months after it reopened the operation.

The South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy (SACOME) welcomed CU River’s $800 million deal to expand the Cairn Hill mine.

SACOME chief executive Rebecca Knol said the CU River announcement was yet another good news story for the state following BHP’s Southern Mine Area expansion at Olympic Dam and OZ Minerals’ approval of the $916 million Carrapateena project.

“Expansion of the Cairn Hill mine forms part of an exciting pipeline of discoveries and projects that support a sustainable and profitable resources sector, contributing to the South Australian economy,” Knol said.

CU River’s expansion plans will assist SA’s magnetite strategy goal of producing 50Mt of magnetite iron ore per year by 2030.

The company is one of only two iron ore exporters in SA, with its product shipped to China. It created more than 60 jobs in SA by reopening the mine.

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