Atlas Iron has announced a 21% increase to its overall Pilbara iron ore reserves to a total of 499 million tonnes. The company says this further strengthens its existing operations, near-term developments and its longer-term growth strategy.

The upgraded reserve estimate includes a 25% increase at Abydos which is under construction, a 21% increase at Mt Dove where production has recently started and a 98% rise in reserves at McPhee Creek, when compared with the June 2012 estimates. The ore reserve update also includes mining depletion at Pardoo and Wodgina.

Atlas managing director Ken Brinsden says extensive drilling, engineering and ongoing feasibility works during the past 18 months had led to the significant reserve growth. “Atlas is delivering on its strategy of generating strong production increases today while laying the foundations for substantial growth over the longer term.”

“We shipped at a record annual rate of 7 million tonnes in the December 2012 quarter and we are on track to hit 10 million tonnes by the end of June this year, on the back of the production start-up at Abydos where construction is now well under way. At the same time, we are growing the reserves to underpin our Horizon 2 growth options,” Ken Brinsden adds.

The independent Australian iron ore company, which is mining and exporting Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) from its operations in the Northern Pilbara region of Western Australia, has grown rapidly since listing on the ASX in late 2004.

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