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Western Plains Resources Limited (ASX:WPG) is pleased to advise that it has executed binding lease, licence and pricing agreements with Flinders Ports Pty Ltd that will give the Company long term access to Berth 7 at Port Pirie for the export of iron ore and coal.
The initial term of the agreements is 10 years with WPG holding rights to extend the term for a total period of up to 30 years.
WPG intends to take the decision to commit to project development at its flagship Peculiar Knob direct shipping iron ore mine in H2 2010. To the best of WPG’s knowledge, Peculiar Knob is the highest grade undeveloped DSO deposit in Australia, with the lowest levels of the key impurities alumina and phosphorus.
As a result of optimisation of the logistics chain, WPG now expects exports of 3-4 million tonnes per annum of iron ore could commence in H2 2011. This is higher than the previous estimates of 2-3 million tonnes per annum.
WPG believes the capacity of the materials handling and transhipment strategy to be implemented at Port Pirie is some 7-8 million tonnes per annum. The Company intends to make surplus capacity available to other users.
The 30 year term of the agreements with Flinders Ports will provide a seamless path for WPG to export ore from its Hawks Nest DSO and magnetite iron ore projects if mining there is approved by the Commonwealth, and also if development of the Penrhyn coal project proceeds.
WPG will commence a community consultation program at Port Pirie within the next few weeks, well before any activities commence.
WPG remains committed to the construction of a deep sea bulk commodities export facility at Port Bonython but will not wait for this to be built.
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