THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Carpentaria Exploration has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Flinders Ports.
Carpentaria said the deal provides a potential long-term handling, storage and loading solution for iron ore exports via Port Pirie.
The MOU allows for the establishment of a common user facility at the South Australian port, capable of exporting 20 million tonnes per annum of iron ore via a barge-style operation.
Commenting on the agreement Carpentaria Exploration executive chairman Nick Sheard said the agreement put the company’s Hawsons iron project (CAP 60% interest) at the front of the queue of other similar proposed iron ore projects in Australia, boosting the viability of the $3.2 billion project.
Location of the Hawsons project. Source: Company announcement
“This MOU opens the door to Carpentaria’s Braemar Iron Formation operations, including our flagship Hawsons iron project,” Sheard said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“The initiative by Flinders Ports provides the opportunity to export Hawsons’ expected initial output of 5 million tonnes per annum direct to Cape-class vessels of up to 180,000 tonnes capacity, giving Carpentaria the opportunity to ramp up production more rapidly than previously forecast.”
Sheard said the MOU would allow for a more rapid development of Hawsons as well as improving the project’s feasibility.
A large export facility at Port Pirie, serviced by the existing rail line, would also afford the company export opportunities at start-up as well as providing options for increased tonnages.
“Not having access to an existing port is a major impediment that other potential iron producers are currently facing in Australia,” Sheard said.
“This certainly puts Hawsons ahead of the pack.”
Flinders Ports chief executive officer Vincent Tremaine said the MOU was a great opportunity to expand the role of Port Pirie and to consolidate its future as a major export centre.
“Carpentaria’s projects have the potential to generate significant iron ore exports, and we are determined to ensure this wealth benefits the local region,” Tremaine said in the Carpentaria release.
“We are excited by the potential in this agreement, and welcome Carpentaria’s commitment at this stage to using the facilities of South Australia’s second-largest port.”
Carpentaria has previously announced a positive pre-feasibility study for Hawsons, which highlighted the benefits for the company of established infrastructure being only 60 kilometres south-west of the mining community of Broken Hill and 40 km from the east-west railway line.
The PFS also indicated potential for a highly profitable mine producing up to 20mtpa of high grade iron concentrate, with a three-year, 5mtpa start-up option.
Hawsons has an Inferred Magnetite Resource of 1.4 billion tonnes at a Davis Tube Recovery (DTR) of 15.5 per cent iron (12 per cent cut-off) and an Exploration Target of 6-11Bt at 14 to 17 per cent DTR, including up to 1.9Bt of high-grade magnetite concentrate.