SA govt sponsors port approval
The South Australian government has advised IronClad Mining that it has sponsored its application for amendments to the existing Lucky Bay Port approval.
The announcement follows the miner’s application to see a number of amendments to the existing approvals since the downturn in iron ore prices last year, which saw prices, received from Chinese end users, virtually halve from highs in the US$180 ($176) per tonne range to below US$90 ($87) per tonne.
The major changes sought by IronClad were for the introduction of a bulk ore buffer stockpile within 1.5km of the planned loading facilities, within an area leased by the company, and a reduction in the trans-shipment distance from 10 nautical miles to 7 nautical miles.
Last month the SA government approved the shorter trans-shipment distance amendment.
The existing approval requires that all ore from IronClad’s mine site at Wilcherry Hill, 40km north of Kimba, on the state’s Eyre Peninsula to the port at Lucky Bay, about 156km away, must be transported in containers.
Due to the bulk density of iron ore and loading logistics, the containers need to be custom designed, built and delivered at a cost of over $7000 per container. Logistics demanded that about 3000 containers would have to be built and delivered.
“We took the liberty of presenting government in advance with a full set of technical and environmental impact data relating to the buffer zone proposal so we believe that the approval time is likely to be shorter than the normal three months,” IronClad managing director Robert Mencel said.
“With that approval in place we can lock in significant operating and capital cost reductions. With iron ore prices also rebounding recently, the SA government approvals give us further strong impetus to commence production as soon as possible.”
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