Gindalbie Metals has scheduled the maiden shipment of iron ore from its Karara iron ore project in Western Australia to China.

The Karara haematite lump ore, along with ore from Sinosteel Midwest Corporation’s (SMC) Koolanooka operations, was loaded on the Panamax vessel, MV Ju Da at the Port of Geraldton last week.

SMC is supplying the ore according to the terms of the recently signed eight-year ore sales agreement with Gindalbie for a total of 480,000t of high-grade haematite lump.

Upon completion of the construction of the Karara project’s on-site processing infrastructure, rail network and port facilities, the direct shipping ore phase of operations is expected to increase the production to 2Mtpa by next year.

Once this is achieved, Ansteel a joint venture and off-take partner of Gindalbie will purchase the high-grade haematite from Karara under the long-term sales and off-take arrangements covering all production from the Karara project.