Decision on new iron ore mine in Pilbara due next month

Atlas Iron said it will make a final decision on whether to build a new mine in the Pilbara by the end of next month confirming it had received final government approvals.

Atlas is planning to produce 3 million tonnes of iron ore a year from its Mount Webber mine, with first output set to begin in 2014.

In a statement the company said it had received final approvals to build the mine from state and federal government environment ministers, and said a decision to go ahead would be made at the end of June.

The announcement comes as iron ore prices dipped to their lowest level since October, falling to $US112.90 a tonne yesterday.

Last year, Atlas Iron blamed low commodity prices and the high Australian dollar for its full year loss of $114.6 million, but said it's still bullish on the future of iron ore mining.

The company said it is still targeting to produce 15mtpa by 2015 and 46mtpa by 2017, The Australian reported.

New production will come from the Abydos mine in the Pilbara, which Atlas said is being built on budget.

The company said production is on track to hit an annual rate of 10 million tonnes of iron ore during the July-September period.

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