PERTH (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed Mineral Resources (MinRes) has restarted operations at its Yilgarn operations after completing the acquisition of US group Cleveland-Cliff’s Koolyanobbing iron-ore operation, in Western Australia.
The two companies in June this year struck a sales agreement over the Cliff’s tenements and all the remaining iron-ore, as well as the fixed plant, equipment and non-process infrastructure on the tenements.
While the acquisition price was not released to market, Cliffs said earlier this week that the sale of the iron-ore assets had reduced the cost of closing its Australian operations by about $85-million. Included in the amount were asset retirement obligations assumed by MinRes.
MinRes said on Thursday that over the past six weeks, the company had progressively been employing people in preparation for the restart of its Yilgarn iron-ore operations, with production now restarted at the Carina mine and the newly acquired Koolyanobbing operation.
“We are extremely pleased to have resumed iron-ore operations in the Yilgarn and look forward to shortly beginning to export our iron-ore from Esperance, and in the process of doing so, preserving hundreds of jobs and creating economic benefits for regional Western Australia,” said MinRes MD Chris Ellison.
He noted that the capacity of MinRes-owned and -operated rolling stock would enable between 6-million and 6.25-million tonnes a year of iron-ore to be transported from the Koolyanobbing operation to the Port of Esperance, with the company planning to start moving the Yilgarn iron-ore to the port in October, in order to start shipping activities in November.
Cliffs sold its Australian operations as part of a multi-year transformation back to its roots as a supplier of iron-ore pellets to the Great Lakes steel industry, in the US.