Xstrata to be QLD’s first magnetite concentrate exporter

An $8.6 million storage expansion to allow Xstrata to accommodate an extra 1.2 million tonnes of magnetite concentrate per year at the Port of Townsville is almost complete.

The mining company is undertaking an extension of the existing bulk storage facility to handle the magnetite concentrate from its Ernest Henry (EHM) operation near Tuncurry.

Xstrata will be Queensland’s first exporter of the magnetite concentrate when it sends the first shipment, scheduled to depart the Port of Townsville for Asia in the first half of this year.

“The magnetite concentrate produced at EHM will be chiefly used to fuel Asia’s steel industry, however,
the commodity will also be utilised as a washing agent in domestic coal operations,” The extensions are due to be completed next month, according to The extensions are due to be completed next month, according to Xtrata’s general manager for Copper’s Townsville Operations, Mark Roberts said.

 “The completion of this storage expansion represents another successful milestone in Xstrata becoming
Queensland’s first exporter of magnetite concentrate,” he said

The extensions are due to be completed next month.

“The magnetite project is a key component of the $589 million project to transform EHM into a major
underground copper-gold operation and this storage expansion is a critical link in the logistics chain for
the product.

“Once the works are completed, the receival, storage, and shipping of magnetite concentrate will
generate 14 additional operator and maintenance roles at our port operations and another two positions
within our shipping and sales administration team.”

Magnetite is a benign form of iron ore occurring in nearly all igneous and metamorphic rocks and it is
captured and produced into a concentrate form as an important by-product from EHM’s copper-gold
concentrating process.

Port of Townsville Limited CEO Barry Holden said Xstrata’s expansion was a significant investment in
North Queensland’s economy.

Image: The Townsville Bulletin

“Townsville’s strength lies in its diversity of industry and it is always pleasing to see another trade that
will further support local and regional jobs and business come online,” he said.

“Xstrata has been proactive in investing in new infrastructure required to make this magnetite export a
reality and we congratulate the company on the initiative.”
 

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