21/10/2008 - 11:44

Polaris in hunt for larger export option

21/10/2008 - 11:44

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West Perth-based Polaris Metals NL has turned its attention to the Esperance port as it looks for larger alternatives to export iron ore from its Yilgarn project.

West Perth-based Polaris Metals NL has turned its attention to the Esperance port as it looks for larger alternatives to export iron ore from its Yilgarn project.

Today Polaris said it had entered into a memorandum of understanding agreement with the Esperance Port Authority to identify criteria for exporting ore.

The agreement follows a recently completed pre-feasibility study that confirmed the viability of exporting iron ore through Fremantle Port's Kwinana bulk handling facilities.

 

The announcement is pasted below:

 


Polaris Metals NL (POL) is pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Esperance Port Authority to:

- identify the requirements (operating and capital costs) for exporting ore from the Yilgarn Iron Ore Project (YIOP) through the berth at Esperance; and,

- collaborate to enable efficient and expedient development should Esperance be selected as the preferred option for export.

Background

Polaris is planning to commence mining Stage 1 of the YIOP in 2010 based on the Carina and Chamaeleon iron ore deposits located 60km north of Koolyanobbing in Western Australia.

A recently completed pre-feasibility study (PFS) confirmed the viability of the project and as a base case, assumed export of iron ore through Fremantle Port's Kwinana bulk handling facilities.

However, ongoing studies indicate that the Esperance Port might offer an alternative in terms of a larger ship size and more rapid development of the land side infrastructure, to meet our export target dates.

Independent consultants are undertaking a study of the Esperance option to a pre-feasibility level of study. Once completed, the preferred port option or mix of the two (dependent upon product type), will be selected (Kwinana and/or Esperance) and future studies will focus on refining the requirements and costs for exporting through the preferred port(s).

Further studies continue in conjunction with rail providers to identify access requirements to the ports via the public access rail network in southern WA, which is in close proximity to the YIOP project.

Finalisation of the preferred export option is a key requirement prior to formal commencement of the planned bankable feasibility study recommended in the PFS. Other studies such as environmental characterisation, metallurgical, geotechnical, and hydrogeological continue in the interim.

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