Tag Archives: hematite

Fortescue Metals granted approval to expand iron ore capacity at Herb Elliott

Fortescue Metals Group says it has received approval from authorities to increase the material handling capacity of its Herb Elliott Port facility, in Western Australia, from 175 Mt/y to 210 Mt/y on a staged basis.

The approval, under the West Australian Environmental Protection Act 1986, includes provisions for 188 Mt/y of hematite ore and 22 Mt/y of magnetite concentrate. The high-grade magnetite product will be produced from the Iron Bridge magnetite operations, with first ore on ship from Iron Bridge scheduled for mid-2022.

The revised licence uses the capacity of Fortescue’s existing port infrastructure, comprising five berths and three ship loaders, and supports its 2021 financial year iron ore shipments guidance of 175-180 Mt.

Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Gaines, said: “Fortescue’s port operations are world leading and we have continually demonstrated our capacity to optimise the efficiency and productivity of our port infrastructure to deliver iron ore to our customers.

“The increase in the licensed capacity of Fortescue’s Herb Elliott Port from 175 Mt/y to 210 Mt/y is in line with our strategy to deliver growth through investment, including the $2.6 billion investment in the Iron Bridge project. This significant project will deliver 22 Mt/y of high-grade magnetite product, enhancing the range of products available to our customers through our flexible integrated operations and marketing strategy.

“We will continue to ensure that Fortescue remains a significant long-term contributor to the state and national economies through growth and development of our iron ore assets, job creation and investment.”

Fortescue says it maintains a high level of vigilance over its management of dust in Port Hedland, with installation and implementation of additional controls ensuring no net increase in dust emissions as a result of the progressive increase in throughput capacity at Herb Elliott.

Lycopodium to lead PFS for battery materials refinery project

Queensland Pacific Metals (QPM) has appointed Lycopodium Minerals Pty as the Lead Engineer for the prefeasibility study on the Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub (TECH) project in Queensland, Australia.

Pure Minerals, the parent company of QPM, said: “With the acquisition of QPM being approved by shareholders and in the process of being finalised, Pure Minerals is excited to launch its planned battery materials refinery as the Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub.”

The TECH project will produce nickel and cobalt sulphate chemicals required for the battery energy storage sector, with QPM immediately commencing the PFS for a 600,000 t/y battery materials refinery producing approximately 25,000 t/y of nickel sulphate and 3,000 t/y of cobalt sulphate and other valuable co-products, Pure Minerals said.

The previous scoping study envisaged annual primary production of around 25,400 t/y of nickel sulphate and 3,000 t/y of cobalt sulphate (containing 5,760 t of nickel and 630 t of cobalt), alongside some 221,000 t/y of hematite, 8,700 t/y of alumina and 4,600 t/y of magnesium oxide. This came with construction capital costs of $297 million.

Lycopodium Minerals Pty is a subsidiary of well-regarded engineering company, Lycopodium, which has experience applicable to the TECH project, according to Pure.

This includes:

  • Being highly active in the battery metals space, having undertaken many feasibility studies for clients in nickel, cobalt, lithium and graphite;
  • Completing a feasibility study for Direct Nickel Projects Pty or a nominal processing plant using the DNi Process™ (a pilot plant example from CSIRO pictured), which the TECH project will be using, and;
  • Completing feasibility studies for other nickel projects incorporating downstream processing to produce battery chemicals, including BHP’s Nickel West project and Cleanteq’s Sunrise project.

The key responsibilities for Lycopodium under its contract with QPM are process, process services and utilities design and engineering; preparation of project capital and operating cost estimates; and compilation of the PFS report, including integration of studies relating to other work packages.

Lycopodium has also agreed to accept shares in Pure Minerals as consideration for around 20% of its estimated fees, according to Pure Minerals.

The PFS is expected to be completed in the September quarter.

Lycopodium Minerals Managing Director, Rod Leonard, said: “The outlook for battery metals is positive and Lycopodium is well positioned to carry out this body of work, having completed a wide range of studies for major, mid-tier and junior clients in this space.”