MinRes sets long-term path with $850m investment in growth

The Wodgina plant. Image: Mineral Resources.

Mineral Resources (MinRes) has described the past financial year as “the most significant” in the company’s history.

The company’s ramp up of the Koolyanobbing iron ore mine in Western Australia, coupled with contributions from external contracts, has driven a 39 per cent growth in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in the second half of the 2019 financial year.

MinRes’ iron ore exports have also increased by 14 per cent on the previous financial year, totalling 10.6 million wet tonnes.

In the company’s lithium portfolio, MinRes is set to sell 60 per cent of its Wodgina lithium project to Albemarle Corp and form a 60:40 unincorporated joint venture.

This provides MinRes the opportunity to participate in the lithium hydroxide market on an accelerated basis, while preserving the chance for future capacity expansions, according to the company.

The proposed transaction remains subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to complete this year.

“This past year has been the most significant in our company’s history as we set MinRes up for long-term growth,” managing director Chris Ellison said.

“The financial results for the 2019 financial year reflect our strategic decisions and investments to lay the foundations for a strong future, and are a testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire MinRes team.”

MinRes will continue to strengthen its mining services capabilities and focus on maximising the value of its lithium ore bodies and iron ore operations, according to Ellison.

The company has invested over $850 million for its future growth, including constructing lithium mining and processing facilities at Wodgina and Mt Marion during the past financial year.

Construction of trains one and two at Wodgina are complete and in the commissioning phase, with train three construction expected to complete by September.

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