WA iron ore project put on hold

Iron ore miner Grange Resources has cut 18 jobs and delayed its multi-billion dollar Southdown magneitite project on WA’s South Coast blaming high development costs.

The company says the planned 2015 start date for the project will be delayed, and have announced major expenditure cuts.

Grange says it will spend less than $3 million on the project in 2013, after spending more than $70 million over the last few years, the ABC reported.

Managing director Richard Mehan pointed to an uncertain market and high development costs and difficult financial markets for the move.

Mehan said the company was committed to completing the project, but could not give a definite date.

"It's very difficult for export projects and the future is that I think this thing will be built, but clearly from what we've done today there's going to be more delays," he said.

The Southdown project is 70% owned by Grange and 30% owned by SRT Australia Pty Ltd. SRTA is jointly owned by Sojitz Corporation, a  Japanese global trading company, and Kobe Steel, the fourth largest Japanese steel maker.

The project was expected to generate up to 600 jobs.

Image: Yahoo.com

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