Western Desert Resources (WDR) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Xstrata Zinc to investigate the feasibility of gaining access to Xstrata Zinc’s McArthur River mine loading facility in Australia.

The McArthur River mine loading facility is located at Bing Bong on the Gulf of Carpentaria.

The MoU will accelerate WDR’s plan to ship iron ore from the Roper Bar iron ore project.

The feasibility study will investigate if the loading facility is able to meet WDR’s initial needs to handle 2.5 to 3.0 million tons of ore per annum.

WDR’s access to the loading facility will quicken the production and export of iron ore, with shipments expected between late 2012 to early 2013.

The access will also reduce WDR’s estimated capital expenditure to about $50 per annualised ton of iron ore, which represents a significant decrease from previous requirements.