Australian miner CuFe said it will temporarily suspend operations at the JWD iron ore mine in Western Australia due to falling iron ore prices.
The company has been reducing activity recently in anticipation of the suspension so there is limited stock in the system. It will continue to crush and screen remaining run of mine stock at the site and haul it to Geraldton Port for shipment in December.
CuFe said it will also continue to utilise the crush and screen plant in trials to explore the potential to recover high grade product from a discrete portion of the waste dump. “Subject to the results of the trials this material could be a source of low cost product, which can be accumulated at the mine in advance of recommencement of full operations,” the miner said.
The company has completed all its delivery obligations under its steel mill sale contract and repaid all debt advanced against stockpiles.
“In the meantime, we will keep the key mining equipment and infrastructure in place as best we can to facilitate a quick restart and would like to note and acknowledge the cooperation of our key contractors and partners in this regard,” said Executive Director Mark Hancock.
“I have seen many times before how iron ore prices can rebound quickly once sentiment turns in China, this was most recently illustrated when prices hit the mid-80s in November 2021 and were back in the mid-120s by December 2021 and then the 160s earlier this year so it’s a matter of being patient and staying ready.”
CuFe holds a 60% interest in JWD via its subsidiary Wiluna Fe as operator of the joint venture. GWR Group holds the remaining interest.