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Australia's Centrex Metals eyes Stage 2 for Port Spencer development

Highlights

Centrex Metals said Friday the development of Stage 2 of its PortSpencer project in the Eyre peninsula in South Australia has moved a stepforward after the state government gave it the status of a "major project."

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Stage 2 development includes the addition of the Eyre iron magnetitejoint venture processing plant located near the town of Koppio, a 40 kmslurry pipeline and return water pipeline to the port, dewatering facilities,a magnetite concentrate storage shed and a modular desalination plant, alllocated at Port Spencer.

"It is another step forward for Centrex Metals' Eyre Peninsula iron oreprojects, which require an efficient and low-cost route to market via theproposed export facilities at Port Spencer," Centrex CEO Ben Hammond said.

Late last year, the state government approved the Stage 1 plan todevelop a multi-user port at Spencer, which would see a 515 meter jetty,storage and shiploading facilities and other infrastructure. In its startupphase, the port would handle around 5 million mt/year of magnetite and 2million mt/year of hematite exports.

The port is being developed as a 50:50 joint venture with China's WuhanIron & Steel Co. or Wisco and could eventually increase capacity to 20million mt/year.

Centrex is developing several projects in the Eyre peninsula, includingthe Eyre Iron magnetite joint venture with Wisco, the Bungalow magnetite JVwith Baotou Iron & Steel, the Wilgerup DSO hematite project and the Kimba Gapmagnetite deposit.

The go-ahead for the port development, however, still needs approval ofat least one of the large-scale mining operations proposed by Centrex tounderpin the required port capital, Hammond said.

Federal government approvals are also still needed.--Marnie Hobson, marnie.hobson@platts.com--Edited by E Shailaja Nair, shailaja.nair@platts.com