PERTH (miningweekly.com) - Iron-ore developer Centrex Metals has signed a shareholders agreement with China’s Wugang Australian Resources Investment to establish a joint venture (JV) company to design, build and operate the proposed Port Spencer.
Wugang is a subsidiary of Chinese major Wuhan Iron and Steel Company (Wisco).
Centrex MD Jim White said on Monday that the JV agreement further strengthened the relationship between Wisco and Centrex, as the parties were already JV partners in the Eyre Peninsula magnetite iron-ore projects.
The proposed port would allow direct loading of Cape size ships, and would provide means to market for the product from the mines. The port would be equally held between Wugang and Centrex through JV vehicle Port Spencer Holdings.
The first task of the JV would be to prepare the bankable feasibility study for the port project.
Centrex last week submitted its public environmental report for the Stage 1 development of a proposed deep-water bulk commodities export facility in the Eyre Peninsula, for public and regulatory comment by the South Australian government.
The consultation period would remain open for seven weeks, until April 27.
The proposed port, which has been awarded major development status by the South Australian government, would have a capacity of some 20-million tons a year from a single berth configuration and single ship loader. The proposal also includes a road transport and infrastructure access corridor.
White said on Monday that the decision to proceed with the construction of the port would be made along with a decision on the development of a magnetite mine and magnetite concentrate processing plant. These decisions would be made later this year, or early next year.