Atlas Iron’s iron ore reserves hit 499m tonnes

Atlas Iron’s total iron ore reserves have risen by 21% to 499 million tonnes, with an average grade of 56.1% Fe.

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Extensive drilling programmes, engineering and feasibility works during the past 18 months resulted in a 21% increase at Mt Dove, a 25% increase at Abydos, and a 98% jump from McPhee Creek, compared with figures release in June 2012, Atlas announced on Tuesday February 5.

“We shipped at a record annualised rate of 7 million tpy in the December 2012 quarter and we are on track to hit 10 million tpy by the end of June this year, on the back of the production start-up at Abydos where construction is now well underway,” Atlas md Ken Brinsden said.

“We are growing the ore reserves to underpin our Horizon 2 growth options,” Brinsden added.

Atlas aims to boost production further from the targeted 15 million tpy by 2015 to 46 million tpy via Horizon 2, which encompasses an expansion of its North Pilbara production, the development of the South East Pilbara resources and participation in port and rail developments.

It shipped a record of 1.75 million tonnes of iron ore during the December quarter, up 10% from the previous quarter.

The miner also saw production commencing in December at Mt Dove, its third Pilbara iron ore mine, aside from Pardoo and Wodgina.