23/07/2008 - 22:00

Gindalbie steps up iron order

23/07/2008 - 22:00

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While the Mid West region is dominated by the antics of iron ore stocks Murchison Metals Ltd and Midwest Corporation Ltd, another player is stepping up to secure its berth in the region's resource riches.

Gindalbie steps up iron order

While the Mid West region is dominated by the antics of iron ore stocks Murchison Metals Ltd and Midwest Corporation Ltd, another player is stepping up to secure its berth in the region's resource riches.

This week Gindalbie Metals Ltd and its Chinese partner AnSteel, started a spending spree for the $1.8 billion Karara iron ore project, a mix of both magnetite and hematite ore that will underpin a mine life of at least 60 years.

The company placed orders worth $70 million for the magnetite phase of the project with Polysius Australia, part of Germany's ThyssenKrupp group, for key long lead items with delivery expected by March 2010.

The orders are for four large ball mills and two high pressure grinding rolls, which are similar to those being used by the $2 billion Boddington gold mine in the state's South West.

Gindalbie managing director Garret Dixon said the orders reflected the growing momentum behind the project.

"There is already a large amount of pre-construction activity with the project and we expect these orders to mark the beginning of a very busy phase in the second half as we lock away additional contracts and move decisively towards development," Mr Dixon said.

While the momentum builds up around Gindlabie, Murchison this week returned to its mining roots following a hectic past few months dominated by corporate activity involving Midwest and Chinese steel producer Sinosteel Corp.

The miner reported record levels of iron ore mining and crushing, with an 11 per cent and 41 per cent increase, respectively, in the June quarter as compared to the previous quarter.

However heavy rains and problems at Geraldton Port saw total tonnes of ore hauled fall below target, highlighting the need for the bigger $2 billion Oakajee port, where its development is currently in the hands of the state government.

The government has until the end of this month to award the contract to either the Murchison-backed Oakajee Port and Rail or the Midwest-backed Yilgarn Infrastructure Ltd.

 

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