Iron Road has been granted two approvals for the Central Eyre Iron Project (CEIP) by the Government of South Australia.
Approvals include a mining lease and a development authorisation.
Iron Road managing director Andrew Stocks said: “The CEIP will employ approximately 1,950 people during construction and 700 during operations, all located on the Eyre Peninsula, in addition to the workforce required in the Adelaide head office.
“The approvals we have received are a direct recognition by the South Australian Government of these and other significant direct benefits for the state.
“We are now looking forward to the next stage of our development journey which will include further engagement with stakeholders, preparing our secondary approval applications, reaching a final investment decision together with CREC and ultimately achieving financial close.”
The CEIP has been able to gain momentum towards financing and construction, with the rail and port components declared a Priority Project by Infrastructure Australia in September 2016, and three major Chinese banks formally indicating in April 2017 to provide CEIP’s requisite debt financing.
The project’s progress has been supported by strategic partner China Railway Group Limited (CREC).
CREC project senior representative Cai Zemin said: “We are pleased and excited that this major milestone for progressing the CEIP has been achieved.
“It demonstrates the strong joint commitment of CREC, Iron Road and the South Australian Government to the construction and operation of Australia’s next major mining and infrastructure project; one that will have a significant impact on the strength of the mining sector in the State.”
The only remaining primary government approval for the CEIP is under the Commonwealth environmental legislation. The decision is expected within few weeks.
On 3 May, mining lease was granted for Iron Road’s proposed magnetite mining and minerals processing operation (CEIP Mine) near Warramboo on the central Eyre Peninsula for a term of 21 years.
The mine is expected to produce at least 21.5 million tonnes per annum of high-grade, low-impurity iron concentrate.
The development authorisation was granted for the infrastructure components of the CEIP including a deep sea port at Cape Hardy, approximately 7km south of Port Neill, a railway line from the mine to the port, a power transmission line, and borefield with an associated water pipeline.