Joint venture partners Mineral Resources (MinRes) and Brockman Mining have delayed key developments at the Marillana iron ore project in Western Australia by up to a year.
The postponements implicate the start of construction for Marillana’s rail and port system, from end of 2019 to 2020, pushing the start of their operation out to 2022.
Marillana’s light-rail system is designed to transport iron ore products from the site to Port Hedland, and also expand the project’s production capacity.
Australian Mining understands that design and testing works are under way, while MinRes works to execute an agreement with the Western Australian Government for the infrastructure project. The JV partners expect the agreement to be ready by December next year.
MinRes is responsible for the construction, commissioning and operation of the rail and port infrastructure.
The availability of the rail and port system will expand the capacity of Marillana’s small-scale production of three to five million tonnes a year initially.
Once the infrastructure project is complete, the JV could deliver iron ore products to China on the back of a 20 million tonnes a year initial export capacity, with the potential to increase to 30 million tonnes a year.
MinRes plans to undertake a $2 million drilling and metallurgical testing campaign to ensure there’s no fatal flow on mine design.
Under the terms of the JV, MinRes is required to spend only $250,000 on exploration and development activities on the Marillana tenements to acquire a 50 per cent interest in the project.