The project, located approximately 225km east of Geraldton Port, is a 50:50 joint venture between Gindalbie Metals and AnSteel, a Chinese steel and iron ore company.
Gindalbie chairman George Jones said that successful financing, development, construction and commissioning of this project marks the realisation of a long-term dream to set up downstream processing and value adding opportunities for the Australian iron ore industry.
"The eight million tonne per annum (Mtpa) concentrator at the heart of this project turns magnetite ore – which would otherwise have little value – into a valuable premium quality product which is increasingly in demand in global markets," Jones added.
"At the same time, by investing more than $1bn in new rail, port, power and other infrastructure, KML [Kara Mining Limited] has been able to unlock a large stranded iron ore deposit and create exciting growth opportunities for the exploration and development of other iron ore deposits in the region. In the process, this project will generate enormous wealth for the region, the state and the nation."
Construction of the $2.57bn Karara Project began in late 2009 and was considered to be one of the largest construction projects in the country, employing more than 2,500 people.
Production at the project is currently being ramped up to its nameplate capacity of 8Mtpa of high-grade magnetite concentrate grading 68% Fe.
Image: The first shipment of magnetite concentrate from Karara iron ore mine was completed in early January 2013, representing the first-ever commercial shipment of magnetite from Western Australia. Photo: Gindalbie Metals Ltd.