Premier Mike Rann has welcomed OneSteel’s announcement that iron ore exports from Whyalla are to be increased by 50%.
Rann says OneSteel’s intention to boost export sales to 6 Mtpa from 4 Mtpa from its Middleback Ranges mining operations places South Australia firmly on the map as a significant supplier of iron ore to the China market.
OneSteel has also announced plans to further explore iron ore reserves near Whyalla after confirming an additional 13 million tons of reserves in the Middleback Ranges.
Rann says the announcement from OneSteel is a huge vote of confidence in South Australia and the expansion in capacity will cement Whyalla’s long-term future as a source of iron ore exports.
Rann says OneSteel has also boosted its workforce by 550 to 1850 workers in Whyalla as a result of the $400 million investment in Project Magnet and that is leading to improved opportunities for training in the region.
New jobs created by OneSteel’s Project Magnet include 160 additional apprentices, 20 graduates and 15 cadetships.
“Many of the new jobs created in Whyalla involve apprenticeships and cadetships that will train South Australians with the skills required to take full advantage of the mining boom,” Rann says.
Minister for Mineral Resources Development Paul Holloway says the magnetite project has provided a solid foundation on which to build Whyalla’s future, and the confidence to expand its export focus.
Holloway says South Australia is emerging as a significant exporter of iron ore with the OneSteel operations just one of several resource companies looking to supply the world market.
He says approval has been granted this year to export focused iron ore projects by Western Plains Resources at Peculiar Knob and I.M.X. Resources at Cairn Hill.