Atlas Iron will start mine development at its Wodgina DSO Project in the Pilbara region of Western Australia following positive feasibility study results, with production scheduled to commence in January 2010.

Atlas previously announced an agreement with Talison, the owners of the Wodgina Tantalum mine infrastructure, to use that infrastructure to support its planned iron ore mining and processing objectives.

The deal brings down operating costs to $37-$45 per tonne and simplifies Atlas’s efforts to secure mining licenses.

Atlas plans to have an initial production rate of two million tonnes per annum before increasing to three million tonnes.

Atlas managing director David Flanagan said that initial studies into the project look positive.

“Wodgina is looking fantastic. Low strip ratios, low capital and operating costs, minimal environmental impact and close to the world’s largest iron ore export port, present a huge opportunity for Atlas shareholders,” Flanagan said.

By staff writer