Independent Australian iron ore company Atlas Iron yesterday announced the official opening of Mt Webber located 230km south-east of Port Hedland in the Pilbara region in Western Australia.
According to the ASX announcement, Mt Webber will be the company’s fifth mine in the Pilbara region and lowest-cost operation to date.
“These lower capital and operating costs continue to improve our already-strong position on the global cost curve, and against our peers in Australia. The low $212 million capital cost of the project includes a substantial contribution towards road upgrades in the region, which benefits all Pilbara road users. Key attributes that contribute to the success of Atlas are a genuine commitment to our communities, along with a willingness to form mutually beneficial partnerships with others,” said Atlas Managing Director Ken Brinsden.
“We are also proud that an infrastructure sharing arrangement with Altura Mining Limited (Atlas’ joint venture partner in the Mt Webber project) has helped foster another independent producer and unlock what would otherwise be a stranded resource, for the benefit of both parties, the community and the State of Western Australia. The opening of the Mt Webber Stage 1 project marks the completion of the bulk of our planned Horizon I development program and Atlas will now focus on the optimisation of production across all of our mines to further drive down costs.”
Mt Webber is already producing three million tonnes of iron ore per year and is expected to double that by December of this year. This will make the mine a key contributor to the company’s planned 15 million tonne total output and should generate around 200 jobs.
Mt Webber was officially opened by Western Australia’s Minister for Mines and Petroleum, The Hon Bill Marmion MLA.