Mineral Resources has produced 15.29 million wet tonnes (Mwt) of lithium and iron ore and shipped 13.21Mwt in the 2018 financial year.
Quarterly production of direct shipping ore (DSO) dipped slightly at the company’s Wodgina project in Western Australia from 1.16Mwt in the third quarter to 845,000t in the fourth quarter, a decrease of around 27 per cent.
This reduction is in line with company plans to “maximise realised future value from ore body”, according to the company’s latest quarterly report.
MinRes announced last week that first bids had been received for the sale of a minority stake of up to 49 per cent of the project.
However, DSO production was up marginally over the third and fourth quarters at the smaller Mount Marion project, which grew from 105,000wt to 109,000wt in a return to second quarter levels.
MinRes’s Koolyanobbing iron ore project is expected to commence operation in the next quarter as the company begins its new financial year. MinRes acquired the struggling Yilgarn site from Cleveland-Cliffs last month for an undisclosed sum estimated to be in the vicinity of $US65–75 million ($88–102 million).
The company’s rail fleet (also purchased from Cleveland-Cliffs) will allow for 6–6.25Mt of ore to be hauled each year from the site.
MinRes has referred to the low-grade iron ore market as “challenging” due to growing impurities, and that it remains a marginal business for the company.
The Iron Valley project saw a marginal increase in production and shipping over the quarter from 1.8Mt to 1.82Mt and 1.54Mt to 1.6Mt respectively.