Tom Koutsantonis, Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy.
19 October 2017.
CU River has announced an $800 million expansion of their Cairn Hill magnetite mine near Coober Pedy, which the company estimates could create up to 1,300 jobs.
The investment, which builds on the existing Cairn Hill mine, aims to triple magnetite production initially to 3 million tonnes a year and then step up to 15 million tonnes a year.
CU River has committed to using South Australian suppliers wherever possible on the project.
Investment Attraction South Australia will provide case management services to the company and help streamline its investment pathway.
Privately-owned CU River is one of two magnetite producers in South Australia and has been operating the Cairn Hill iron project south of Coober Pedy since 2016.
The State Government has already approved two additional pits at Cairn Hill that will contribute to tripling the previous annual output to 3 million tonnes of magnetite a year.
The approved expansion, investment in new processing facilities, road, rail and exploration programs are key steps toward stepping up production of magnetite from Cairn Hill.
The next stage of expanded production sourced from nearby prospects within the Woomera Prohibited Area still requires further rigorous environmental and other approvals from both the State and Commonwealth governments.
The announcement comes after approval was granted for Iron Road’s $4.5 billion Central Eyre Iron Project, which could create about 2000 jobs, and plans by the new owners of the Whyalla steelworks to increase production of iron ore from the Middleback Ranges.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy Tom Koutsantonis
This announcement is yet another demonstration that South Australia remains an attractive destination for investors.
South Australia welcomes the expansion of the resource sector and the clear message it sends to the international community that we remain a reliable supplier of mineral exports.
Step by step South Australia is fulfilling its destiny to become a leading exporter of iron ore to the world.
The expansion plans for CU River come after Iron Road received mine lease approval for their $4.5 billion project on Eyre Peninsula, and GFG Alliance has pledged to increase iron ore production from the Middleback Ranges.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development Geoff Brock
The proposed investment in regional South Australia is welcome news for mining workers and businesses in our regions with the increased economic activity generating new opportunities.
This long-life project shows that unlocking the full potential of our magnetite assets can create hundreds of jobs for the Far North and new infrastructure that can boost our export potential.