MRL partners with Gina Rinehart on iron-ore export facility
Article by Esmarie Iannucci courtesy of Mining Weekly.
PERTH (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed Mineral Resources (MRL) has entered into an agreement with Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting and Roy Hill Holdings to jointly investigate the development of a new iron-ore export facility at Port Hedland’s Stanley Point Berth 3.
Under the terms of the agreement, Roy Hill would provide services to both MRL and Hancock for development and operation of the project, including rail haulage and port services.
MRL said on Monday that the project aligned with the company’s strategy to unlock stranded deposits in the Pilbara by developing pit-to-port solutions and expanding its capability to be a long-term, low-cost sustainable supplier of iron-ore to international markets.
The development of the project will be subject to the Pilbara Ports Authority (PPA) granting a capacity allocation for the project, and all necessary approvals and agreements to develop and operate berth 3 in South West Creek and the other associated supporting port infrastructure. The project is also subject to MRL and Hancock each electing to take a positive final investment decision to proceed with the project following the completion of a feasibility study.
MRL and Hancock will form a joint venture to obtain necessary approvals and agreements with the PPA and, if obtained, to develop and operate the iron-ore export facility at Port Hedland’s Stanley Point Berth 3.
If developed, the project would provide MRL with a port and rail haulage solution to deliver ore mined from MRL’s deposits to Port Hedland.
The ASX-listed MRL told shareholders that haulage solutions were key to unlocking stranded assets in the Pilbara and this agreement would provide a cost-effective solution for MRL to develop its Pilbara assets.
“We are pleased to have entered into the port and rail agreement with Hancock and Roy Hill. This partnership and infrastructure sharing is the first of its kind in the Australian resources industry and would enable significant value to be unlocked for MRL in a sustainable manner,” said MD Chris Ellison.
“Our long-stated strategy is to transition from short-life, high-cost mines to lower-cost, longlife operations underpinned by innovative infrastructure solutions. Developing our stranded assets will provide additional growth for MRL’s unique mining services build-own-operate model. We’re delighted to have reached this agreement which builds on the long and strong relationship we have with Hancock.
“We look forward to working with Hancock, Roy Hill, PPA and the state government to progress this project which would help unlock stranded assets in the Pilbara and would create thousands of jobs for West Australians for years to come.”