The first train to leave Mineral Resources Limited’s Koolyanobbing mine has carried 7400 tonnes of iron ore into Esperance Port on Thursday, November 8, marking the resumption of the trade after a five-month hiatus.
The delivery marks a major milestone the company, which acquired the mine almost three months ago after previous owner Cleveland-Cliffs announced their exit.
The sale, facilitated with the assistance of the state government, was announced just three weeks before shipping and rail out of Esperance was due to cease and safeguarded hundreds of regional jobs.
Mineral Resources Managing Director Chris Ellison said the company looked forward to building their iron ore stockpiles ahead of the first shipment.
“When we decided earlier this year to take on the Koolyanobbing operations previously operated by Cleveland-Cliffs Inc, we did so because of our firm belief we could sustain a viable iron ore export operation in the region and safeguard hundreds of jobs in regional Western Australia,” he said.
“This successful outcome would not have been possible without the great assistance of Premier Mark McGowan and his Government, the leadership team at the Esperance port and Paul Larsen and his team at Arc Infrastructure.
“We look forward to building up our iron ore stockpiles at the port of Esperance ahead of loading our first ship before the end of this year.”
Southern Ports interim chief executive Alan Byers welcomed the recommencement of iron ore trade through Esperance and thanked those who made it possible.
“The arrival of iron ore at Esperance port today is a significant milestone that would not have been possible without the goodwill of Mineral Resources and the State Government,” he said.
“This trade helps support almost 100 jobs at Southern Ports in Esperance, many of which are directly involved in managing iron ore.”
A total of 15 trainloads of iron ore are expected to arrive at Esperance Port each week as part of an annual 6.25 million tonne export for the next five years.
The product is currently being stockpiled ahead of the first expected shipment in four weeks.