Mineral Resources (MinRes) expects to build a long-life iron ore export business at its Yilgarn project to bring nearly 200 jobs to the Eastern Wheatbelt region of Western Australia.
The company announced a mineral resource totalling 108.6 million tonnes at 56.8 per cent high-value iron at Yilgarn based on feasibility level studies.
This includes its Yilgarn deposits at Koolyanobbing, Windarling, Deception and Parker Range.
MinRes plans to ramp up operations to a run rate of 7.5 million tonnes a year before raising it to 11 million tonnes a year, such that previous operator Cleveland-Cliffs has achieved.
The company will then be in a position to add 190 permanent jobs in the region, bringing up its total number of jobs across the mine, rail and port operations to 654.
MinRes managing director Chris Ellison said the company had a proud history in iron ore and was pleased to add the Yilgarn resource to its existing operations in the Pilbara and Goldfields regions.
“When we acquired the Koolyanobbing operations off Cleveland-Cliffs last year, we had a clear vision to use the newly acquired infrastructure as the foundation blocks to build a long-life, high-value iron ore business in the Yilgarn region,” Ellison said.
“The announcement of a significant mineral resource in the Yilgarn should underpin a profitable business and hundreds of regional jobs for years to come.”
MinRes has acquired all environmental approvals and native title agreements for the currently operating Koolyanobbing, Windarling and Deception pits, and is seeking final approvals for Parker Range.
The company plans to use conventional open pit drill and blast, and load and haul methods at Yilgarn. This is underpinned by a mine production fleet that is comprised of three Hitachi excavators and matching haul trucks.
MinRes will develop additional infrastructure, including road construction for road train haulage to the Koolyanobbing ore processing facility and run-of-mine pad construction, for the development of the Parker Range deposit.
Four of eight Yilgarn deposits, Deception/Altair, Jackson 1, F Pits and Windarling, are already in production.
The deposits are located within a 120 kilometre radius of MinRes’ Koolyanobbing train loading and rolling stock infrastructure hub. This connects to the Port of Esperance for convenient loading for export.