Fire halts Koolan Island processing

16th August 2022 By: Esmarie Iannucci - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

PERTH ( – A fire at the Koolan Island crushing plant has prompted ASX-listed Mount Gibson Iron to temporarily suspend processing activities at the site, however, the company said on Tuesday that mining of high-grade iron-ore from the Koolan main pit continued as planned.

The fire occurred on August 12 in the product sizing screen area within the Koolan Island crushing plant during a scheduled maintenance shutdown. All personnel working in the area were evacuated and there were no injuries.

The fire was subsequently extinguished and an initial assessment indicates that the fire has damaged part of the product sizing screen assembly and associated feeder and conveyor equipment. Assessment of surrounding steel structures is underway.

Mount Gibson told shareholders that a preliminary plan is being developed to process and ship ore at up to approximately 40% of the plant capacity from late August for an interim period. This could be further increased through the use of available mobile crushing units while repairs are undertaken.

The company said that the fire within the Koolan Island process screening plant circuit will temporarily slow the site’s operational and financial improvement trajectory but is recoverable. With the improvements already realised to date, the mining of high-grade ore continues to increase with the waste-to-ore stripping ratio declining as scheduled, and the site will be well positioned to recover the deferred shipments once processing capacity returns to planned levels.

Meanwhile, Mount Gibson on Tuesday flagged a non-cash impairment of A$150-million before tax on the Koolan Island assets, based on the recent lower iron-ore prices.

This is in addition to the previously recorded accounting writedown of A$37-million relating to the suspended Shine iron-ore project in the December 2021 half-year.