THE Hawsons Iron Project Joint Venture (JV) comprising Carpentaria Exploration (60%) and Pure Metals (40%) has secured port access for up to 12 million tonnes annually of iron ore concentrate through the existing berths at Port Pirie in South Australia and has also been granted foundation customer status.
Flinders Ports and the JV have agreed to jointly fund a rail-port-marine study into the best option for exporting 10-20 million tonnes of iron ore annually from the Hawsons project on the border of South Australia and New South Wales to 180,000 tonne vessels through Port Pirie.
Under the agreement the Hawsons JV will have a first right of refusal for export of up to 12 million tonnes of iron ore concentrate through this port, conditional upon further study cooperation between the parties.
Carpentaria’s managing director Quentin Hill says, “Gaining port access is a very significant and important step in the development of Hawsons as the cornerstone of a long lasting, premium iron business. It provides another key element of infrastructure certainty for the project. This is a current focus for the JV and we will continue to deliver.
“This agreement not only secures access, it will provide for the right option to increase the capacity of the port with great potential benefits for Port Pirie,” he says.
The study will investigate the best option for iron ore concentrate export through Port Pirie including rail unloading, transfer of concentrate to the port, likely by conveyor, and then ship loading using barges. Importantly, it will also increase engineering detail and certainty at the port to a level consistent with the other aspects of the project.
Flinders Ports general manager Stewart Lammin says, “We are working with Carpentaria to provide a port solution that is right for the project, the environment and the community of Port Pirie.”
It is expected the study will be complete by the end of November. The project is 60km southwest of Broken Hill.
The agreement for port access consolidates the significant infrastructure advantages of the Hawsons Iron project that are key to its early development. The JV has recently confirmed the presence of a viable water supply, another critical project element. In addition, the nearby, open access, power and rail lines have sufficient spare capacity to service the project.
The Hawsons JV is currently undertaking a bankable feasibility study based on low-cost, long-term supply of a high-grade, ultra-low impurity iron concentrate to a growing premium iron market. A mining lease application has also been lodged.