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Merit in shared facilities idea

Wednesday, 23rd February, 2011

Nick Sheard Nick Sheard

'We should belooking at a shared facility transport corridor and a shared facility port on the eastern sideof the Spencer Gulf.'
- Nick Sheard 

By Gina Wilson

Sharing facilities would help flush smaller projects out of the Braemer iron formation but it did have limitations, a local explorer said.

Carpentaria Resources, which has dibs on the giant Hawsons iron project, welcomed an idea to jointly fund and own the "millions and millions and possibly into the billion dollars" of infrastructure needed to get iron ore mines south of the city up and running.

"We certainly believe in the value of shared facilities to assist the Braemer Iron Formation to take off however we don't believe a central processing plant would work," executive chairman Nick Sheard said.

Adelaide-based Minotaur Exploration, which owns the Mutooroo project in SA, said last week it wanted other junior explorers with interests along the massive Braemar iron deposit to band together to develop the infrastructure needed to support the projects.

Minotaur said the ideal outcome for a new iron ore province near Broken Hill would be a multi-user facility where joint ownership could serve the processing and transport needs of a number of independent mining ventures.

But while Carpentaria's boss Nick Sheard said the idea would be good for some, especially smaller operators, larger operators would find the cost of transporting ore to a central processing too expensive.

"Our pre-feasibility study (shows us) producing 20 million tonnes per annum of high grade concentrate, 69 per cent iron, (but) we have to mine more than 100 million tonnes of material to get that," Mr Sheard said.

"The cost of transporting material to a (central) plant would add significantly to the project costs.

"Depending on the proximity of the mine you don't want to be transporting that material any (further) than you have to."

Mr Sheard said with the deposits located in different states the common user facility may also prove difficult.

He said a shared transport corridor and port might be more useful than the central processing plant.

"There are political borders to cross.

"There are some significant deposits along the Braemer iron formation which I believe would give a long, sustained, high grade, iron output.

"If this is supported by a major port even some of the small deposits could be sustained. It would bring out other projects.

"We should be looking at a shared facility transport corridor and a shared facility port on the eastern side of the Spencer Gulf.

"It would be good for Broken Hill and good for South Australia."

Carpentaria hopes to start mining at Hawsons in 2014 and expected mining to last at least 50 years.

Meanwhile Carpentaria Exploration is one of the first local explorer to join the Twittersphere.

Mr Sheard said the company saw Twitter as a better way of letting people know what they were up to.

If you would like to follow, search for "Carpexp".

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