Friday, December 2nd, 2011 - Asia Iron Australia
Perenjori, Western Australia: A high-level Chinese delegation has arrived in Western Australia for a ground-breaking ceremony at Asia Iron Australia’s Extension Hill Magnetite Project in the Mid West.

The 35-member group is led by the Vice Mayor for Chongqing Municipal People’s Government, Mr Ling Yueming, and includes investors and senior representatives from Chongqing, a city of more than 32 million people in central China.

The group will fly to the project site, about 85km east of Perenjori, tomorrow (Friday, 2 December).

Chongqing Chonggang Minerals Development Investment Ltd (CCMD) last year acquired a 60 per cent interest in the project for $280million.

CCMD is a joint venture between Chongqing Iron and Steel Group and Chongqing Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation Group.

Asia Iron Australia’s Managing Director Bill Mackenzie said the company was especially pleased to welcome the Chinese delegation to Western Australia.

“The joint venture has made a significant investment here and this visit underlines their commitment to the project,” he said.

“This is a rare opportunity to show our investors what is planned at the site, how the project will be developed and the different aspects involved in mining and transporting the ore from the area.”

The group’s visit precedes the final investment decision on the $3billion magnetite project which is expected to yield 10 million tonnes of high grade iron ore magnetite a year over 40 years.

Pre-development work is already under way at the site with work including establishment of an initial 120 person accommodation village.

Site construction is planned to start early next year with the first shipment to China expected in 2014.

“The Extension Hill Magnetite Project represents a significant element of the emerging magnetite industry, which will see substantial investments in processing plants in Australia that add value to otherwise unsaleable low grade ore,” Mr Mackenzie said.

He said the project would include a one billion tonne open pit and an ore processing plant designed to produce 10 million tonnes of high purity magnetite concentrate per annum.

A slurry pipe would transport the concentrate to the Port of Geraldton for export to be used in the manufacture of high quality steels.

Magnetite concentrate is a highly sought after feedstock to steel mills due to the significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions during smelting in blast furnaces.

Mr Mackenzie said about 2,000 jobs would be created during construction of the Extension Hills Magnetite Project and 500 jobs once the mine was operational.

Asia Iron Australia Extension Hill Magnetite Project


• Asia Iron Australia is developing the Extension Hill Magnetite Project in Western Australia’s Mid West, about 85km east of Perenjori.

• The first stage of the project is expected to yield 10 million tonnes of high grade magnetite concentrate a year.

• The total development investment for the project is expected to be approximately $3billion.

• Pre-development work has started at the site, including the construction of an accommodation village for 120 people.

• Asia Iron Australia is currently finalising the Implementation Study for the development. This will support the final investment decision and debt financing.

• Site construction is planned to start in the first quarter of 2012 to coincide with the final investment decision.

• Current environmental approvals for the project cover

o 1 billion tonne open pit

o Ore processing plant

o Site infrastructure and accommodation

o Powerline

o Borefield

o Slurry pipeline transport system

o Slurry filtration and concentrate storage in Geraldton

o Export through Geraldton Port

• The current approvals cover a 40-year lifespan at 10 million tonnes a year. It is anticipated the existing mining leases have sufficient ore to sustain the production rate for up to 300 years.

• About 2,000 people will be involved in construction.

• About 500 jobs will be created once the mine becomes operational in 2014.

• The first shipment is expected to China in 2014 through the Port of Geraldton.

• The ore will be transported to Geraldton through a pipeline.

Investment

Chinese joint venture Chongqing Chonggang Minerals Development invested $280 million last year to acquire a 60 per cent interest in the project.

The balance is owned by Hong Kong based SINOM Investments Ltd.

The Vice-Mayor of Chongqing Municipal People’s Government, Mr Ling Yueming, and his delegation are in Western Australia to attend a ground-breaking ceremony at the site.

The Chinese National Development and Reform Committee has authorised project development and policy bank funding.

Chongqing

Chongqing was first settled more than 3,000 years ago at the confluence of the Jialing Yangtze Rivers in south west China.

Nestled amongst green hills on both sides of the rivers, Chongqing today is a modern city with a population of more than 32 million, making it the biggest municipality in China.

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Kaye Verboon

P: (08) 9388 0944
M: 0451 637 897
W: www.mtgibsoniron.com.au

Keywords

Chongqing Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation Group Chongqing Iron and Steel Group Chongqing Chonggang Minerals Development Investment Ltd Asia Iron Australia Extension Hill Magnetite Project Bill Mackenzie Magnetite Mining Mining

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