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Magnetite Mines closer to securing water for Razorback

27th September 2023

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

     

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PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Iron-ore developer Magnetite Mines is a step closer to a water solution for its Razorback project, having been granted approval from the South Australian Cabinet to progress to Step 2 of the state’s unsolicited proposal process for the company’s application to access wastewater from the Stockyard Plains Salinity Management Basin (SPSMB).

The unsolicited proposal relates to one of two preferred water supply options for the Razorback iron-ore project. Up to 10 gigalitres a year of water is required to process magnetite-bearing ores into five-million tonnes a year of value-added, premium-grade iron-ore concentrates for use in low-carbon steelmaking.

Magnetite Mines told shareholders on Wednesday that this approval enshrines an exclusive negotiation period during which the company will develop a business case in conjunction with the South Australian government.

Exclusivity provides Magnetite Mines with a high level of assurance and confidence to proceed with technical design and environmental assessment programmes. A dedicated case manager has also been appointed by the state government.

“For more than 30 years, salinity levels in the Murray river have been government-managed by extracting salty groundwater using an array of bore pumps alongside the river and discarding it to evaporation ponds with no beneficial use. Using this wastewater for value-adding to South Australia’s mineral resources makes logical sense and has potentially profound environmental benefits,” said Magnetite Mines CEO Tim Dobson.

“We have been working closely with the South Australian government this year, aligning our business plan to develop high-grade iron-ore production in the Braemar with the government’s emerging strategy to create a green steel industry in the state on a foundation of renewable energy and green hydrogen production.

“This approval by the South Australian government Cabinet to advance our proposal to access this wastewater source, with exclusive negotiating rights, is extremely encouraging and represents the first material support by the state government for Razorback ahead of the planned submission of our mining lease proposal in the new year.

“Being acutely aware of the arid environment in which we will operate, we take our water stewardship obligations seriously. Beneficially using wastewater from Murray basin salt interception schemes would contribute to a circular economy and is fully aligned with the intent and spirit of our leading ‘foresight’ sustainability platform.”

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Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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