Business Briefing: Atlas Iron MD Ken Brinsden

Event Date: 
11 February 2014
Parmelia Hilton Perth


Ken Brinsden, Managing Director

Atlas has grown from a one man operation in 2004 with a market capitalisation of $9 million to a current workforce of nearly 600 (directly and indirectly) with a market capitalisation of nearly $800 million.

Atlas’ Future Growth
Atlas' mission over the next few years is to unlock the potential of the company's one billion-tonne of resources in the Pilbara.

This process of constant growth will take Atlas to 10Mtpa through the development of three new mines, Mt Dove now in Production, Abydos and Mt Webber. Mt Webber is the link between what Atlas refers to as Horizon I, in which production rises to 15Mtpa, and Horizon II, which will see Atlas' production make the climb to 30Mtpa and beyond.

At the heart of this transition will be Atlas' plan for the use of rail transport. Atlas' ability to truck ore to port, which has enabled the Company to generate strong cash flows for a relatively small capital outlay, is capped at about 15Mtpa. A rail solution will not only increase Atlas' production capacity exponentially, but will also open up a host of Atlas deposits in the south-east Pilbara to economic development.

Studies are underway to assess the various rail options available to Atlas. These range from funding owning and operating the line itself through to joint ownership with a fellow iron ore producer or third-party access to a railway.

At one end of the spectrum for Atlas' strategic growth is a host of additional deposits such as McPhee Creek which is scheduled for production in 2015, once a railway winds its way into the south-east Pilbara, the economics of acquiring, exploring and developing further resources there, are vastly improved.

At the other end of that spectrum is Atlas' 46.5Mtpa of port capacity. For Atlas the combination of rail access and this slice of port capacity is its passport to substantial growth. 

Mr Brinsden is a Mining Engineer with over 20 years’ experience in surface and underground mining operations. Ken graduated from the Western Australian School of Mines in 1993. Between graduation and 2006 he worked for WMC Resources, Normandy, Central Norseman Gold Corporation, Goldfields and Iluka Resources in production, management, brown-fields and green-fields mine development roles.

Ken joined Atlas in May 2006 as Operations Manager. In January 2010 he accepted the role of Chief Operating Officer and subsequently from July 2011 Chief Development Officer, further contributing to the growth of the Company from a junior explorer to an iron ore producer, now with four Pilbara operating mine sites, a significant project development pipeline and a market capitalisation of circa AUD$1bn. Ken has been Managing Director of Atlas since February 2012.

Ken is also Vice Chairperson of MANNA Inc., a volunteer operated charity that helps to feed, clothe and support Western Australians in need.


American Chamber of Commerce in Australia
9325 9540
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