Mineral Resources confirms FID for Onslow Iron project in WA
The Western Australian mining firm, Mineral Resources (MinRes), has said that a major milestone has been reached for its Onslow Iron project, with a positive final investment decision taken by all joint venture partners.
Iron ore mining project
In a statement, Mineral Resources said that the Onslow Iron project will be one of the largest iron ore projects undertaken in Western Australia, unlocking stranded deposits that would otherwise remain undeveloped. The project is a flagship one for the company as it transitions to low-cost, long-life operations with compelling project economics through commodity price cycles, the statement added.
The Onlsow Iron project is located 150 kilometres east of Onslow in the West Pilbara region of Western Australia and is owned through an unincorporated joint venture between MinRes, Baowu, AMCI and POSCO.
With FID confirmed, the project is on track to meet key milestones, with early works underway as part of the development phase. All equipment is expected on site by June 2023, and the first ore on ship is targeted as early as December 2023.
MinRes Managing Director, Chris Ellison, said:
“Achieving FID from all joint venture partners is a testimony to the Project’s credentials and demonstrates the high level of confidence all parties have in this project, which is set to redefine mining in Western Australia.
“Onslow Iron introduces a low-cost, long-life and low-risk operation to MinRes’ iron ore portfolio, along with the largest mining services contract in Australia. The successful delivery of the project is underpinned by MinRes’ mining services innovations, which make the project economics compelling through commodity price cycles and allow us to future proof the business against low iron ore prices,” he added.
Reduction in mining environmental footprint
MinRes will deliver 100% of the mining services to the project under the largest mining services contract in Australia. The contract will draw on the company's proprietary suite of mining services assets including its NextGen crushers, autonomous 320 tonne jumbo road trains, and 20,000 tonne transhippers, which are designed to process and move bulk commodities at a lower cost and with a reduced environmental footprint, Ellison explained.
The project will be dust free from pit-to-port.
"We will also build, own and operate all project infrastructure including a private, 150-kilometre haul road, port infrastructure, transhipper wharfs and two Onslow Resorts which will accommodate the project’s workforce," the statement added.
The Onslow Resort will set a new standard in accommodation for MinRes' fly-in, fly-out workforce. In an industry first, the resort-style accommodation will contribute to the physical and mental wellbeing of staff and will encourage more women, and couples, to live and work on site.
Amongst the amenities planned are: larger rooms, a restaurant, cafe and tavern, as well as a commercial gym, an Olympic sized swimming pool and a wellness centre.
The project will provide long-term benefits to the local Traditional Owners, the Thalanyji people. MinRes has agreed terms for a 30+ year lease of the Thalanyji freehold land that will host the Onslow Resort. It is set to be a unique model of cooperation that has never been seen before, the company said.
Finally, MinRes said that the project will deliver an estimated 2,100 construction jobs and 6,300 indirect jobs during the construction phase. 1,200 permanent jobs and 3,600 indirect jobs will be created during operation, and Onslow will deliver an estimated AUD$190m in corporate taxes, as well as AUD$150m in royalties each year.
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