Western Plains Resources has been granted a 14-year mining lease for its Peculiar Knob iron ore project.
The Peculiar Knob project is the second new iron ore mining project outside of the Whyalla region to be granted this year after approval for a mining lease was granted in April for IMX Resources’ Cairn Hill mine, according to the South Australian Government.
Western Plains Resources proposes to export 3 million tonnes of iron ore a year, possibly increasing to 4.5 million tonnes a year, if other ore bodies in the area are also developed.
Underground mining could possibly extend the initial 14-year life of the project.
The development of the Peculiar Knob iron ore mine near Coober Pedy comes close on the heels of other mining projects in South Australia such as Cairn Hill, the Prominent Hill copper-gold mine and OneSteel’s Project Magnet, based in Whyalla.
The Peculiar Knob project is expected to initially create up to 150 jobs while providing South Australia with additional export income at a time of rising world iron ore prices.
The decision to develop Peculiar Knob near Coober Pedy follows the previous announcements of heads of agreement with Focus Investment Ltd and Tangshan Xingye Industry and Trade Group.
Commercial mining at Peculiar Knob is expected to begin in the coming year after all statutory approvals are finalised.