Infrastructure upgrades the key to unlocking Yilgarn's iron ore potential
Preliminary studies by the Yilgarn Iron Producers Association (YIPA) assert that modest improvements to infrastructure could unleash the iron ore potential of the mineral-rich region of Western Australia.
According to Australian Mining YIPA's supply chain study has concluded that minor upgrades to the Esperance Port on Western Australia's Southern Ocean coast and modest improvements to rail services are "the key to unlocking the potential of the Yilgarn."
YIPA claims that the construction of a huge port to service the surrounding region is unnecessary, and that "a modestly priced Esperance Port upgrade of 10 to 15 million tones per annum capacity is the way forward along with incremental rail upgrades."
The group of iron ore miners also advocates a "stage two upgrade, with the construction of a second berth, (which) could boost the total port potential above 50 mtpa and…could be reached over time through a number of environmentally sound sequential expansions"
Western Australia's Yilgarn Craton is host to a rich abundance of iron ore reserves including large magnetite iron ore deposits, as well as around a third of the world's economically demonstrably recoverable reserves (EDR) of gold.