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01.12.2011 | Chinese on site for Extension Hill Magnetite Project

A high-level Chinese delegation has arrived in Western Australia for a ground-breaking ceremony at Asia Iron Australia’s Extension Hill Magnetite Project in the Mid West.

The 35-member group is led by the Vice Mayor for Chongqing Municipal People’s Government, Mr Ling Yueming, and includes investors and senior representatives from Chongqing, a city of more than 32 million people in central China.

The group will fly to the project site, about 85km east of Perenjori, tomorrow (Friday, 2 December).
Chongqing Chonggang Minerals Development Investment Ltd (CCMD) last year acquired a 60 per cent interest in the project for $280million.
 
CCMD is a joint venture between Chongqing Iron and Steel Group and Chongqing Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation Group.
 
Asia Iron Australia’s Managing Director Bill Mackenzie said the company was especially pleased to welcome the Chinese delegation to Western Australia.

“The joint venture has made a significant investment here and this visit underlines their commitment to the project,” he said.
 
“This is a rare opportunity to show our investors what is planned at the site, how the project will be developed and the different aspects involved in mining and transporting the ore from the area.”

The group’s visit precedes the final investment decision on the $3billion magnetite project which is expected to yield 10 million tonnes of high grade iron ore magnetite a year over 40 years.

Pre-development work is already under way at the site with work including establishment of an initial 120 person accommodation village.

Site construction is planned to start early next year with the first shipment to China expected in 2014.
“The Extension Hill Magnetite Project represents a significant element of the emerging magnetite industry, which will see substantial investments in processing plants in Australia that add value to otherwise unsaleable low grade ore,” Mr Mackenzie said.

He said the project would include a one billion tonne open pit and an ore processing plant designed to produce 10 million tonnes of high purity magnetite concentrate per annum.

A slurry pipe would transport the concentrate to the Port of Geraldton for export to be used in the manufacture of high quality steels.

Magnetite concentrate is a highly sought after feedstock to steel mills due to the significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions during smelting in blast furnaces.

Mr Mackenzie said about 2,000 jobs would be created during construction of the Extension Hills Magnetite Project and 500 jobs once the mine was operational.

Media contact: Kaye Verboon 08 9388 0944 or 0451 637897.

See also: Fact sheet

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