Mineral Resources’ ramp up of the Koolyanobbing mine in Western Australia has significantly increased the company’s iron ore production.
The company’s iron ore shipments increased 41 per cent in the March quarter over the previous period to 3.3 million tonnes, with Koolyanobbing achieving its target annualised run rate of six million tonnes per annum.
As a result of this success, MinRes plans to increase annual production at Koolyanobbing to eight million tonnes by the first quarter of the 2020 financial year.
Strong iron ore prices allowed shipments of 1.5 million tonnes from Koolyanobbing while crushing operations performed strongly based on consistent ore supply from the mine.
The number of wet metric tonnes of iron ore produced during the period increased from 560,000 tonnes to 1.3 million tonnes compared to the December quarter, highlighting the success of the Koolyanobbing ramp up.
During the March quarter, the F pits at Koolyanobbing were brought into full operation, producing higher grade and lower phosphate material.
Another West Australian iron ore mine – Iron Valley – also took advantage of strong iron ore prices and in site fine stockpiles, shipping 1.8 million tonnes during the March quarter.
This far exceeded MinRes’ quarterly forecast of 1.2 million tonnes, despite Tropical Cyclone Veronica causing delays in late March.
Mining in the C7 pits has focused on deepening sumps and pumping groundwater to dewater ore ahead of mining while the C9 pit mining has continued to provide low phosphate ore for blending.