Sinosteel Midwest Corporation today announced it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Oakajee Port and Rail (OPR) as a foundation customer for the Oakajee Port and Rail infrastructure project.
The MOU establishes a framework for negotiating supply chain agreements for Sinosteel Midwest’s $2 billion Weld Range project, which is expected to produce 15 million tonnes of iron ore per annum over 15 years.
Sinosteel Midwest Managing Director Tony Cheng said the MOU was the next step in securing the future for the Weld Range project, which will see the company grow to become the largest Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) producer in the region.
“With the completion of a Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS) for the Weld Range project last month, we are keen to progress our supply chain negotiations with OPR as a matter of priority,” Mr Cheng said.
“The company is aiming to commence production at Weld Range by 2013 with the first shipment of Weld Range iron ore scheduled for 2014, pending the development of the Oakajee infrastructure.
“This timeline is critical for our investors and for the development of the bourgeoning Mid West iron ore industry,” Mr Cheng said. Sinosteel Midwest Chief Operating Officer Giulio Casello said Weld Range has the potential to become a strategically important stand-alone iron ore development in the Mid West region.
“Weld Range will lead to the creation of more than 850 long-term jobs, with a workforce of approximately 1000 during construction, and it will generate approximately 90 million dollars in State royalties each year totalling 1.4 billion dollars over the life of the mine.
“We are now at a crucial point in the development of a worldclass efficient port and rail infrastructure at Oakajee, and we will continue to work with OPR over the coming months to progress negotiations,” Mr Casello said.
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About Sinosteel Midwest Corporation Limited
Sinosteel Midwest Corporation (Sinosteel Midwest) is developing iron ore and steel materials projects from one of the largest land holdings in the expanding Mid West resources region of WA. It has advanced production opportunities for iron ore at Weld Range (the largest DSO project in the Mid West), Jack Hills and Robinson Range.
In July 2010, the company started production at its Koolanooka/Blue Hills mine with a production target of 1.5 million tonnes of ore per annum for 5 to 7 years.
Sinosteel Corporation, one of China’s biggest suppliers of raw materials to Chinese steel mills, purchased Midwest Corporation in 2008. It is committed to the responsible and sustainable development of Sinosteel Midwest’s assets. Sinosteel Midwest possesses the capital, resources, technical skills and the people to play a major role in the development of the Mid West region, and is positioned to continue doing so actively now, notwithstanding the global financial crisis.
Sinosteel Midwest continues to actively develop and explore the potential of its deposits and the outlook for the Company is exciting.
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