Venture Minerals has set a pathway for iron ore production at the Riley mine in Tasmania by next quarter after completing construction of the wet screening plant.
The company has also secured full funding via investor commitment to raise $10 million through a share placement, allowing it to move towards its first iron ore shipment in the second quarter of 2021.
Venture planned to finance the construction of the wet screening plant through debt but had the opportunity to raise equity due to its strong share price, brought about by exploration success at the Golden Grove North copper-zinc-gold and Kulin gold projects in Western Australia.
This was also boosted by a surge in iron ore prices. The Venture board believes the ability to raise equity significantly de-risks the Riley project as it transitions from explorer to producer.
“Riley’s short mine life and a quick time to production presents a unique opportunity to capitalise on the current historically high iron ore price,” Venture Minerals stated.
“Iron ore prices have been strong throughout 2020 and into 2021 with the outlook for the rest of the calendar year remaining positive due to continued demand generated by Chinese Government infrastructure spending and ongoing supply concerns from Brazil.
“The board looks forward to the commencement of mining at Riley and Venture’s exciting future as both an explorer and producer.”
The Riley iron ore mine, which neighbours the Mount Lindsay tin-tungsten project in north-west Tasmania, specialises in direct shipping ore (DSO) product iron ore, a hematite rich, close to surface deposit.
It is located two kilometres from existing sealed roads and rail and port facilities, which will enable a quick transition to the production stage.
Venture has received all necessary approvals for the project’s development.