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South Flank iron-ore sustaining mine project, Australia – update

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Photo by ©Reuters

26th April 2024

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor


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Name of the Project
South Flank iron-ore sustaining mine project.

Central Pilbara, Western Australia.

Project Owner/s
BHP (85%), with ITOCHU Minerals and Energy, of Australia, and Mitsui Iron Ore Corporation collectively owning the remaining 15% interest.

Project Description
South Flank will be the most technically advanced high-quality iron-ore mine in Western Australia. Together with the existing Mining Area C, it will form the biggest operating iron-ore hub in the world, producing 145-million tonnes of iron-ore a year. 

The project will leverage and expand the existing Mining Area C hub, which is BHP’s preferred option to replace production from the 80-million-tonne-a-year (100% basis) Yandi mine when it reaches the end of its economic life in the early to mid-2020s.

South Flank will be a higher-grade (62%) and lower-phosphorus operation than Yandi (58%), and use BHP’s infrastructure at Mining Area C.

The operation will increase the production levels from Mining Area C from the current 65-million tonnes a year to 145-million tonnes a year.
The  project includes the construction of an 80-million-tonne-a-year crushing and screening plant, an overland conveyor system, stockyard and train-loading facilities, the procurement of a new mining fleet, as well as substantial mine development and prestrip work.

The project is expected to produce ore for more than 25 years.

Potential Job Creation
The project has created more than 9 000 direct and indirect jobs during construction, and will provide more than 600 operational roles through its life.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
Not stated.

Capital Expenditure
The project is expected to cost $3.06-billion.

Planned Start/End Date
First ore from the South Flank project was produced in May 2021.

Latest Developments
South Flank remains on track to ramp up to full production capacity of 80-million tonnes a year (100% basis) by the end of the 2024 financial year.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
NRW Holdings (bulk earth and concrete works); and Fluor (engineering, procurement and construction management services).

Contact Details for Project Information
BHP (Australia), tel +61 3 9415 4020.

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Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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