18/10/2021 - 15:35

MinRes moving on Ashburton iron ore port

18/10/2021 - 15:35

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Mineral Resources has lodged environmental plans to build a transhipment port in Ashburton with 30 million tonne annual capacity, to unlock its Buckland project.

MinRes moving on Ashburton iron ore port
Iron ore will be exported through transshipment.

Mineral Resources has lodged environmental plans to build a transhipment port in Ashburton with 30 million tonne annual capacity, to unlock its Buckland project.

The Ashburton hub is one of two proposed growth projects in the Pilbara for MinRes, with the second plan a move to ship through a new South Western Creek facility in Port Hedland.

MinRes had previously told investors it hopes to have first ore through Ashburton late in the first half of 2023.

The environmental documents were filed to federal regulators and were released today, showing MinRes would use transhipment at Ashburton.

The plan includes export facilities, a nearshore berth, a small desalination plant and offshore anchorages.

The total development envelope is nearly 21,000 hectares, with the port to be next to the existing Pilbara Ports Authority facility and Wheatstone offloading dock.

The company’s proposal said it would help unlock the otherwise stranded Buckland project, which it purchased from BCI in April.

MinRes founder Chris Ellison gave some details around the proposal in a recent investor briefing.

“The Ashburton Hub (will be a) 30 million tonne operation,” Mr Ellison said.

“Incremental parts of it have already started. 

“It's approved by the board, but subject to us landing the final approvals. 

“So the port approval is due out imminently and we've got a little part of the corridor for the off-highway road to get approved. 

“So we're aiming for feet on the ground out there in about September and we're looking for first ore coming out of there in the first half of 2023 and that will be at the back end of that first half. 

“A great project.”

He said there would be at least 145 jumbo road trains operating on the route, with four transhippers around the clock.

The approvals show further plans are under consideration to lift shipment capacity to be 40mtpa, with the facility to operate up to 30 years.

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