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(Wallace Refiners) – BHP announced today that it has achieved first ore at its US$3.6 billion South Flank mine in the central Pilbara, Western Australia.
According to the company’s statement, South Flank is an 80 Mtpa sustaining mine, and will be the most technically advanced high quality iron ore mine in Western Australia. Together with the existing Mining Area C, it will form the largest operating iron ore hub in the world – producing 145 million tonnes of iron ore each year.
BHP President Minerals Australia, Edgar Basto, said: “South Flank is Australia’s largest new iron ore mine in over 50 years and is on time and on budget. South Flank’s high quality ore will increase WAIO’s average iron ore grade from 61 to 62 per cent, and the overall proportion of lump from 25 to 30-33 per cent. The project has created more than 9000 direct and indirect jobs during construction, and will provide more than 600 operational roles through its life.”
The company added that the South Flank’s ore will supply global steel markets for the next 25 years, helping to build electricity, transport and urban infrastructure across the globe. And its high quality ore will have an important role in helping BHP’s customers lower their greenhouse gas emissions, the company pointed out.
The South Flank project has expanded the existing infrastructure at Mining Area C, and involved construction of an 80 Mtpa crushing and screening plant, an overland conveyor system, stockyard and train loading facilities, procurement of a new mining fleet and substantial mine development and pre-strip work.
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