Roper Bar mine to re­open

The Australian Mining Review - - NEWS - EL­IZ­A­BETH FABRI

THE moth­balled Roper Bar mine in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory has the green light to re­open af­ter its mine man­age­ment plan was ap­proved.

The iron ore mine, for­mally owned by Western Desert Re­sources, was placed in care and main­te­nance in April 2015 when the com­pany went into liq­ui­da­tion.

The project is now owned by in­ter­na­tional min­ing and ship­ping com­pany Bri­tish Ma­rine sub­sidiary Brit­mar (Aust), who also has an in­ter­est in a baux­ite op­er­a­tion in Weipa, QLD.

Bri­tish Ma­rine sub­sidiary Nathan River Re­sources is the owner of the iron ore min­ing as­sets, which in­cludes the ex­clu­sive rights and li­censes re­lat­ing to the Roper Bar mine, haul road and the Bing Bong port.

“The Group now has in place all the rel­e­vant agree­ments and per­mis­sions to be­gin­ning the ex­port of iron ore prod­uct, as well as the own­er­ship of a va­ri­ety of equip­ment in­clud­ing road trains, barges and load­ing equip­ment sta­tioned on site,” Bri­tish Ma­rine said in Fe­bru­ary 14 state­ment.

“It is ex­pected that the project will start ex­ports of iron ore prod­uct in earnest in Q2 2018.”

North­ern Ter­ri­tory Re­sources min­is­ter Ken Vowles said re­viv­ing Roper Bar in­di­cated grow­ing con­fi­dence in the sec­tor.

“The re­sources in­dus­try con­trib­utes mil­lions of dol­lars to the NT econ­omy each year and cre­ates thou­sands of jobs,” Mr Vowles said. “In 2016/17 the value of min­eral pro­duc­tion in the NT hit a new record of $3.63 billion. “Brit­mar has in­di­cated they are keen to get things mov­ing as quickly as pos­si­ble, and it will be great to see this mine up and run­ning again.”

Brit­mar has con­firmed it will fo­cus on lo­cal pro­cure­ment and was plan­ning to es­tab­lish a head of­fice in Dar­win.

The news fol­lowed a se­ries of wins for the Ter­ri­tory last year, in­clud­ing the open­ing of Edna Beryl mine, the first new gold mine in the re­gion in 12 years; the re­open­ing of Bootu Creek mine; and the open­ing of Gulkula, Aus­tralia’s first Abo­rig­i­nal owned and op­er­ated mine.

“To see projects such as this come back on line means the Ter­ri­tory will fi­nally re­alise re­sults from the ef­forts of pre­vi­ous works, and for many years to come,” Min­er­als Coun­cil of Aus­tralia NT ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Drew Wag­ner said. “This is proof of the shifting trend of growth and con­fi­dence in the sec­tor once more.”

“It is ex­pected that the project will start ex­ports of iron ore prod­uct in earnest in Q2 2018.”

Im­age: Western Desert Re­sources.

Roper Bar is about 60km south of Ngukurr and 50km from the Gulf in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory.

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