Jupiter Mines could bring its Australian operations back to life with the restart of the Central Yilgarn iron ore projects in Western Australia.
The Central Yilgarn assets comprise two project areas – the Mount Ida and Mount Mason direct shipping ore (DSO) hematite projects.
They were placed under care and maintenance in 2012 and 2014 respectively.
The projects have incurred significant expenditure in the past to elevate them to their advanced production-ready level, according to Jupiter in an ASX statement.
In light of China’s drive towards higher grade iron ore feed, Jupiter noted both projects held great value, particularly in the current iron ore market.
“This … provides an attractive opportunity to commence high-grade DSO hematite production and high-grade magnetite concentrate production that could underpin quality long-term supply,” Jupiter stated.
Mount Mason’s mining proposal was approved by the Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum in July 2014.
Mount Ida had an increased resource estimate of 1.23 billion tonnes in 2012. It was anticipated to produce 10 million tonnes a year of beneficiated magnetite grading of 68-plus per cent iron.
Both projects are in a low-risk established mining region of Western Australia, over 100 kilometres by road to the Yunndaga rail siding for rail access to the Esperance Port. They lie on granted mining leases and include a constructed accommodation camp.
Jupiter has appointed financial consultant firm Hartleys as corporate adviser to realise value for these projects. This process would not require further funding or affect Jupiter’s dividend policy from its Tshipi manganese mine in South Africa, Jupiter said.