Mount Gibson keeps Koolan Island restart on target

Koolan Island

Mount Gibson Iron’s Koolan Island restart project in Western Australia’s Kimberley region remains on track to achieve first sales in the March quarter of 2019.

Operations at Koolan Island were suspended in November 2014 following a seawall failure that led to the hematite mine’s main pit being flooded.

Mount Gibson announced it would spend $97 million to redevelop and restart the operation last April, creating around 400 jobs in the process.

Since launching site works at Koolan Island last June, Mount Gibson has ramped up construction activity, with the project around 28 per cent complete at the end of 2017.

In its fourth quarter 2017 update, Mount Gibson said activities during the three-month period focused on the initial stage of the seepage barrier construction.

“The project currently remains on track to achieve first sales in the first quarter of calendar 2019,” Mount Gibson chief executive officer Jim Beyer said.

“As we have stated previously, the high quality of ore from Koolan Island will set us apart in a market that is increasingly geared to premium quality iron ore products.”

Meanwhile, Mount Gibson recorded quarterly sales of 841,000 tonnes of iron ore during fourth quarter 2017, all from its operations in WA’s Mid West region — Extension Hill and Iron Hill.

Mount Gibson continues to ramp up production at Iron Hill, which is 3km from the depleted Extension Hill pit, towards full capacity this year.

The company secured a second off-take agreement with China’s SCIT Trading for product from Iron Hill last month.

“Mount Gibson again delivered a solid performance in the December quarter and half year, as Iron Hill ramped up to full capacity, work on the high-grade Koolan Island restart project progressed, and shareholders received a $22 million fully franked dividend,” Beyer said.

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