THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Atlas Iron (ASX: AGO) has increased the company’s total Pilbara Ore Reserves by 21 per cent to 499 million tonnes.
The company said the result had strengthened its existing operations, near term development projects and longer-term growth strategy.
The upgraded Reserve estimate compares with figures Atlas published in 30 June last year.
Source: Company announcement
It includes a 21 per cent increase at Mt Dove, where production started recently, and a 25 per cent rise at Abydos, where construction is underway.
The increase also includes a 98 per cent jump in Reserves at McPhee Creek.
Atlas considers the Reserve increases at McPhee Creek to be important as it anticipates this project is set to play a key role the company’s Horizon 2 growth option.
The Ore Reserve update is inclusive of mining depletion at Pardoo and Wodgina.
The company put the Reserve growth, particularly that achieved at McPhee Creek, down to its continued reinvestment through drilling programs, engineering and ongoing feasibility works conducted it has undertaken over the past 18 months.
“Atlas is delivering on its strategy of generating strong production increases today while laying the foundations for substantial growth over the longer term,” Atlas Iron managing director Ken Brinsden said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“We shipped at a record annualised rate of seven million tonnes per annum in the December 2012 Quarter and we are on track to hit 10 million tonnes per annum by the end of June this year, on the back of the production start-up at Abydos where construction is now well underway.
“At the same time, we are growing the Ore Reserves to underpin our Horizon 2 growth options.”
Disclaimer: The Roadhouse holds shares in Atalas Iron