PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Iron-ore miner Fortescue Metals has approved a $287-million spend on the Queens Valley mine area, at its Solomon Hub in the Pilbara.
The development of Queens would maintain the production of the low alumina Kings Fines product, and was consistent with the company’s strategy of optimising margin through an enhanced product mix, the company said on Wednesday.
The development would include the construction of a hydraulic barrier wall and the relocation of the Solomon mobile maintenance facilities closer to the Queens operation to minimise travel distances, lower operating costs and provide access to additional tonnes in the vicinity of the Kings ore processing facility.
“Fortescue’s integrated operations and marketing strategy defines a product portfolio that maximises value from the Fortescue orebodies over the long term, ensuring the continued delivery of returns to shareholders,” said Fortescue CEO Elizabeth Gaines.
“The Queens mining area development will maintain our highly valued Kings Fines low-alumina sinter fines product, which supplies Fortescue’s key customers in China, as well as in Japan and Korea.”
Fortescue’s $287-million investment into the Queens Valley area followed on from the approval to develop the $2.6-billion Iron Bridge magnetite project, which will produce some 22-million tonnes a year of high-grade iron-ore product, and $1.27-billion investment in the Eliwana mine and rail project, approved last year.
Eliwana will entail a new 30-million-tonne-a-year dry ore processing facility and infrastructure, as well as a 143 km rail line.
The miner is expected to spend some $10-million on the Queens Valley project in 2019, with a further $151-million spend to follow in 2020, $98-million in 2021, and $28-million in 2022.