Mount Gibson Iron has recommenced sales of high-grade iron ore from its Koolan Island operation, located approximately 140 kilometres north of Derby in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.
|The MV S’Hail Al Mafyar being loaded with high grade direct-shipping hematite iron ore fines from Koolan Island, ahead of its scheduled departure for China. ©Mount Gibson|
Loading of a cargo of approximately 72,000 wet metric tonnes of high-grade hematite iron ore, averaging 65 per cent Fe, aboard the bulk carrier MV S’Hail Al Mafyar is nearing completion ahead of the vessel’s scheduled departure from Koolan Island for delivery to customers in China.
The resumption of high-grade iron ore sales from Koolan Island is a key milestone for the company’s flagship Koolan Island mine. Mount Gibson is now Australia’s highest grade exporter of direct-shipping hematite iron ore based on Ore Reserves in the Koolan Main Pit of 21 million tonnes grading 65.5 per cent Fe, scheduled to be mined over the next 5 and a half years.
This first shipment from Koolan Island follows two years of redevelopment and refurbishment work at the site, including the construction of a new seawall containing an impermeable seepage barrier, pit dewatering, footwall rehabilitation, pre-production waste mining, general site infrastructure refurbishment, and the recruitment and mobilisation of more than 300 employees and contractors.
Reflecting the company’s focus on local participation and opportunity, indigenous employees account for more than 20 per cent of the site workforce, including many from the Dambimangari People, the Traditional Owners of Koolan Island, with whom Mount Gibson has established a strong relationship over more than a decade. The Company also employs a substantial number of personnel from Broome and Derby.
Mount Gibson Chief Executive Officer Peter Kerr said that it was very satisfying to bring the unique high-grade Koolan Island mine back into production after more than two years of dedicated effort by the Mount Gibson team.
“We also greatly appreciate the ongoing support from the Dambimangari community in achieving this milestone.
“The high grade and quality of Koolan Island’s direct-shipping hematite iron ore products means that they are well suited to China’s increasing focus on steel manufacturing productivity and environmental impacts, and will provide Mount Gibson with a solid platform from which to generate value well into the next decade,” concluded Mr Kerr.