Mineral Resources (MinRes) has experienced a climb in iron ore production during the March quarter, thanks to a ramp up at the Iron Valley operation in Western Australia.
MinRes produced 1.68 million wet metric tonnes of iron ore at Iron Valley, a jump from 1.39 million wet metric tonnes in the previous quarter.
This guided MinRes’ total iron ore production to a 3 per cent hike compared with the December quarter, to 3.4 million wet metric tonnes.
Shipments from Iron Valley, however, plummeted from 1.54 million wet metric tonnes in the December quarter of 1.32 million wet metric tonnes in the first quarter of this year.
The same trend was replicated at the Koolyanobbing operation in Western Australia, with shipments dipping from 1.75 million wet metric tonnes to 1.57 million wet metric tonnes during the same period.
MinRes subsequently slashed its export expectations from Koolyanobbing by 19 per cent to 7.1–7.6 million tonnes for the 2020 financial year.
Shipments from Koolyanobbing were lower due to a slower than expected ramp up of rail capacity. Its mining operations were, meanwhile, impacted by heavy rainfall during the March quarter.
MinRes now expects to produce at an annualised run rate of 11 million tonnes a year in the June quarter at Koolyanobbing, with additional dump trucks commissioned and additional rail capacity brought online.
At the company’s lithium operations, MinRes produced 111,000 wet metric tonnes of spodumene at the Mount Marion project in Western Australia in the March quarter.
This was a reduction from 124,000 wet metric tonnes the previous period, with shipments remaining constant at 99,000 wet metric tonnes.
MinRes placed the Wodgina lithium joint venture project with Albemarle Corporation on care and maintenance, as a result of challenging market conditions.