Hawsons aim for next year
Tuesday, 31st July, 2018
By Craig Brealey
The company proposing to develop the giant Hawsons iron ore deposit near Broken Hill said yesterday that if everything went to plan work could begin by the end of next year.
The Federal Government has awarded the mine Major Project Status and its owners, Carpentaria Resources, said it was now seeking final mining lease approvals and funds for its last feasibility study.
Managing Director, Quentin Hill, told a mining conference in Adelaide yesterday that the decision on whether to proceed could be announced by mid next year.
This would allow construction of the $1.8 billion project to start by the end of 2019 and full production to begin in 2021, Mr Hill said in his address to the Paydirt 2018 South Australian Resources and Energy Investment Conference.
He said that about 1,200 people would be needed to build the mine and, once it got going it would employ about 500 permanent staff.
Hawsons, 60 kilometres south-west of Broken Hill, just this side of the SA border, could last three or four years and produce about 10 million tonnes per annum of high quality magnetite iron ore for which there was a growing demand, Mr Hill said.
Already, customers overseas had committed, through Letters of Intent, to a total of 12 million tonnes a year, he said.
“These potential offtake customers range across blue-chip international steelmakers and trading houses with a combined annual revenue of US$130 billion, so they are the serious end players looking to lock down the cost and product quality that Hawsons’ unique soft ore brings to market,” said Mr Hill.
“The project has also been buoyed by the recent Federal decision to assign Major Project Status to Hawsons as this has sent an extremely positive signal to global investors and community stakeholders at a time when the market preference has shifted to high quality iron ore and pellets.”.
Mr Hill told the conference that the ore would be sent by a slurry pipeline to Broken Hill and from there by rail to Port Pirie or Whyalla for shipment to Asia and the Middle East.
“We are perfectly placed to capitalise on the growing global demand for premium iron products which can help steelmakers boost productivity and curb pollution,” he said.
“Hawsons will arrive into market as the right product in the right place at the right time.”