Sinosteel Midwest Group is scheduled to ship approximately 60,000 tonnes of iron ore from the Port of Geraldton on the 27th January, as part of a unique win‐win agreement with the Shire of Morawa.
The agreement has allowed low‐grade ore belonging to the Shire of Morawa to be blended with Sinosteel Midwest’s own stocks and sold through Sinosteel’s marketing arm, Sinosteel Trading, into the Chinese market.
Sinosteel Midwest Chief Operating Officer Giulio Casello said the company purchased the low‐grade ore from the Shire in a ‘win‐win’ exercise. “We are purchasing the stockpiled ore owned by the Shire on a ship by ship basis and will pay them a fixed dollar per tonne price,” Mr Casello said.
“This shipment of ore will generate revenue for the Shire, while allowing Sinosteel Midwest the opportunity to get the logistics processes of haulage, storage and ship‐loading established ahead of the start of full‐scale mining at our Koolanooka/Blue Hills project. The project is on schedule for an imminent start now that both State and Federal environmental approvals have been received.”
This shipment follows an initial shipment of 60,000t of iron ore sourced from stockpiles remaining at the Koolanooka mine which sailed on the MV YM Equality last month.
“The first ship went off without a hitch and gave us a valuable opportunity to assess our haulage, stockpiling, reclaiming and shipping systems,” Mr Casello said.
“The Shire has been supportive of Sinosteel Midwest through the approvals process and it’s great to reciprocate that support by generating some revenue for them from their stockpiled ore.” Shire President Karen Chappel said the joint arrangement represents the first known time that an Australian Local Government has entered into a mining venture.
“We are proud to jointly facilitate this process and look forward to witnessing the first shipment of Sinosteel Midwest’s own iron ore to be exported from the Port of Geraldton in the near future,” Cr Chappel said.
Shire of Morawa Chief Executive Officer Gavin Treasure said the outcome was a result of a number of years effort by the Shire to identify and secure a sales outcome. “This is a landmark event for our community that will create additional resourcing opportunities, through the sale process, to undertake projects that otherwise would be unaffordable.
“The Shire continues to break new ground as it positions itself to take advantage of the emerging iron ore industry in the region and we are eagerly anticipating the ramp up of local mining operations.”
Sinosteel Midwest has now received final Federal environmental approval and expects to soon begin site preparation ahead of full‐scale mining.
“We expect to be commencing earthmoving in March and soon thereafter, crushing and stockpiling high grade ore in preparation for haulage to Geraldton. The operation will ramp up to a production rate of 1 million tonnes per year over the subsequent months.” Mr Casello said.
“We look forward to celebrating with our local communities to mark the maiden shipment of Sinosteel Midwest’s own mined ore from Koolanooka within the next few months.”
For more information contact:
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About Sinosteel Midwest Group Limited
Sinosteel Midwest Group (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 Koolanooka, Weld Range, Jack Hills and Robinson Range.
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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