05/03/2008 - 13:20

IronClad teams up to push for new SA port facility

05/03/2008 - 13:20

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Perth-based IronClad Mining Ltd and three other mining companies have established a lobby group to expedite the development of a dry bulk common user port facility in South Australia's Spencer Gulf.

IronClad teams up to push for new SA port facility

Perth-based IronClad Mining Ltd and three other mining companies have established a lobby group to expedite the development of a dry bulk common user port facility in South Australia's Spencer Gulf.

The Port Bonython Bulk Users Group- comprising IronClad Mining, Centrex Metals, IMX Resources and Western Plains Resources- believe that near-term iron ore demand is sufficient to underpin the development of a viable commercial port at Port Bonython immediately, without waiting for a decision on the possible expansion of BHP Billiton's Olympic Dam project.

The group claims there could be demand for up to 8-10 mtpa capacity by 2010 and up to about 20 mtpa by 2015, and these tonnages were sufficient to underpin the development of the port without further delay.

"The projections ignore potential increases in production that may occur and other discoveries that may lead to viable mining projects, which could make these estimates conservative," the group said in a statement.

Port Bonython is currently used for the export of LPG and crude oil from the Cooper Basin. It is an established industrial site, where much of the land needed for the development of new port facilities is owned by the state government.

The group said the site was suitable for the construction of an iron ore loader and storage sheds, and could easily be connected to the standard gauge rail network.

It will now work with the South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy Inc, the Resources and Energy Sectors Infrastructure Council, local and state government authorities, port operators, infrastructure developers, other current and potential users of the port, and other stakeholders, to expedite the development of the infrastructure.

The group said it was well aware of the environmental sensitivities at Port Bonython, as well as the Australian Defence Force's plans for the Cultana area, but was confident that the proposed port facility would not adversely impact on these issues.

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