Ironclad Mining said it will hasten production of iron ore at its South Australia-based Wilcherry Hill project to capitalise on strong international markets for the commodity.

By the end of the year the company will be able to begin output of direct shipping ore at the project at an annual rate of two million tonnes.

The company said that the first open-cut mine at the Wilcherry Hill project will be the Weednanna prospect because of its high-quality ore.

A mobile crushing and screening plant with low-intensity magnetic separation options will be used for low-cost processing on site.

The positive test results are an important part of the company’s fast-track plan to get the project into production as soon as possible to capitalise on high demand and prices in sea-borne iron ore trade.

Negotiations are currently in progress for mining, transport, port handling and end-use sales contracts.

Iron ore is likely to be exported from South Australia’s Port Bonython.