Mine Plan Lays Foundation for the Future
SIMEC Mining is securing its long-term future with the implementation of its new Middleback Ranges mine plan.
With last year’s 100-day review process identifying a number of possible investments – including increasing iron ore reserves and looking to further unlock large-scale magnetite potential – the business has been working on a mine plan that will set the foundation for these investments.
According to SIMEC Mining Chief Operating Officer, Matt Reed, the fixed plan is the culmination of many months of hard work by the SIMEC Mining team.
“This plan gives us stability and certainty, creating a platform for the numerous growth opportunities that we continue to explore,” he said.
“Also in the immediate-term, it allows for synergies between the recently-announced pumped hydro project and the reopening of the Iron Duchess pit.
“Ultimately it will help minimise our exposure to a volatile iron ore market through producing a higher-grade product and implementing staged capital investment.”
Mr Reed said the business continued to investigate developing the Whyalla Port into a world-scale, multi-user facility, while there had also been some major improvements made in the magnetite stream.
“We’re really proud of what we’ve achieved in the magnetite stream in the past six months, in particular some significant reductions in our pellet production cost,” he said.
“Not only does it allow us to further assess magnetite-related expansion options in the coming months, it also reduces input costs for the steelworks.”
Mr Reed said the unfortunate aspect of the revised plan was a temporary cessation of mining operations at Iron Knob, with only processing operations to continue until mining resumes in several years. He said there would also be consolidation into a single mining contractor partner in BGC Contracting, due to these changes creating closer ties between the SMR and Iron Baron sites.
He said this change would not result in any job losses for SIMEC Mining employees, and was also not expecting a reduction in overall contractor numbers.
“We will work closely with the affected contractors and the Iron Knob community to minimise the impact of these changes,” Mr Reed said.
According to BGC Contracting Chief Executive Officer, Greg Heylen, the company’s commitment to prioritising a Whyalla-based residential workforce will continue. He said these changes could therefore result in increased job opportunities for local residents.
For more information on this media release, please contact:
GFG Alliance Whyalla Media and Communications Manager, Sean Kelly, on (08) 8640 4206 or 0411 054 643