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Aztec flags delay

UP and coming iron ore player Aztec Resources has flagged potential cost overruns and delays at its Koolan Island mine off the coast of Derby in north-west Western Australia. Aztec chairman Ian Burston raised the possibility of the mine not meeting its first production target in December. Aztec believes there is a possibility that production timeframes may run over into the new year, but only into February at the latest. The company also said that the project had experienced a cost overrun attributed to rising material costs. Initial cost estimates of $108 million had been overshot by around nine million dollars. Koolan Island was previously mined by BHP Billiton up until 2000, before Aztec took on the project, and it has one of highest grade iron ore deposits in the country, containing 67 per cent of iron ore. The high quality of iron ore has resulted in Aztec already having signed contracts with Asian steel mills for all of the project’s output.

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