PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Northern Territory government has granted privately held British Marine approval to restart mining at the Nathan River iron project.
British Marine took over the former Western Desert Resources Roper Bar iron-ore mine in 2017 after that company went into liquidation, and in February 2018 was granted approval to reopen the mine and ship existing stockpiled material and to process low-grade ore at the site.
The Northern Territory government has now granted subsidiary Nathan River Resources approval to mine and export some one-million tonnes of high-grade iron-ore from the existing openpit operations and transport the ore by way of an established haul road to the Bing Bong load-out facility.
“The decision by Nathan River Resources to invest in this project is a welcome boost for the resources sector, the Territory’s economy and job opportunities for local people. It is a sign of confidence in the NT as a place to invest and exemplifies the significant potential of the Territory’s mining industry,” said Minister for Primary Industry and Resources Paul Kirby.
“The resources sector will have an important role to play in our economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis and the territory government is working hard to create jobs for Territorians.”
Nathan River Resources staff are currently working on site in critical maintenance roles under an approved Covid-19 Management Plan. Additional staff will be required on site when mining operations commence, with an additional Covid-19 Management Plan to be submitted to and approved by the Northern Territory Chief Health Officer should travel restrictions still be in place at such time.
“We are very pleased that the Nathan River Project will now progress to full mining operations and would like to thank all stakeholders for assisting through the approvals process, in particular the Department of Primary Industry and Resources,” said Nathan River Resources CEO Stefan Murphy.
“The Nathan River project is a significant mining operation for the Northern Territory, with over A$250-million spent on infrastructure to-date to open up iron-ore mining and employment opportunities for Territorians and the Roper region.
“Operations are scheduled to commence in quarter 3 this year, with more than 250 full-time positions expected across mining, haulage, marine and support functions. We now look forward to working with our partners and suppliers in the territory to refurbish the project’s pit-to-port infrastructure over the coming months ahead of the resumption of iron-ore exports.”