Mount Gibson currently operates in the Kimberley region of WA, where its Koolan Island mine is located, and in the state’s Mid West region where it operates the Extension Hill minesite and retains the closed Tallering Peak mine.
Mount Gibson’s flagship operation, Koolan Island is located in the Buccaneer Archipelago 140km north of Derby. Acquired through the takeover of Aztec Resources Ltd in 2007, the former BHP mine boasts Australia’s highest grade hematite Ore Reserves which average over 65% Fe. Mount Gibson completed recommissioning of the former BHP mine and commenced shipments in April 2007. Mining was interrupted in late 2014 when the Main Pit flooded but continued in satellite pits until early 2016. Production and sales of high-grade hematite recommenced in April 2019 following a two year seawall reconstruction and mine refurbishment program. As of 31 December 2020, Mount Gibson had exported in excess of 28Mt of ore from Koolan Island.
Shine Iron Ore Project
The Shine Iron Ore Project (SIOP) is located 85km north of the Company’s Extension Hill operation and approximately 375km northeast of Perth in the Mid-West region of Western Australia. Mount Gibson acquired the advanced project in early 2014, but deferred development amid softening market conditions the following year. Development assessment and planning resumed in 2020 following sustained improvement in iron ore prices and in October 2020, Mount Gibson declared an initial Stage 1 hematite Ore Reserve of 2.8 million wet metric tonnes grading 59.4% Fe, within total Measured, Indicated and Inferred Hematite Mineral Resources of 10.8Mt grading 58.2% Fe. The Stage 1 pit is envisaged to produce approximately 1.5 Mwmt of DSO hematite per annum for an initial period of two years, with potential to extend production for a further two years should market conditions remain supportive, based on existing resources within modelled pit shells. Development commenced in late 2020, and ore sales commenced in August 2021, with ore transported from the site to Mount Gibson’s existing export facilities in Geraldton Port for shipping to customers in Asia. Following a rapid deterioration in market conditions, including significantly increased shipping freight charges, in October 2021 the Company announced a staged ramp down and suspension of operations pending an improvement in market conditions.
Extension Hill/Iron Hill
Located 260km east of the Mid West city of Geraldton, production commenced in late 2011 at the Extension Hill deposit which yielded over 15Mt of iron ore by the time reserves were depleted in late 2016. Production then switched to the nearby Iron Hill deposit in early 2017, yielding an additional 5Mt of direct shipping iron ore (DSO) by the time Iron Hill sales were completed in February 2019. Reclamation and sales of stockpiled low grade material from the Extension Hill minesite commenced in mid 2019, and were concluded in December 2020, after low-grade sales of 4.1Mt. The site moved to closure in early 2021 and rehabilitation is well advanced.
Located 175km east of Geraldton, Tallering Peak was Mount Gibson’s first mine, commencing production in late 2003 and sales in early 2004. Sales exceeded 25Mt by the time production ceased in late 2014, and final site rehabilitation was concluded in 2015.
Ore from Mount Gibson’s Mid West operations are exported through its established export base at Geraldton Port in Western Australia, where the Company two storage facilities at the port with a combined ore storage capacity of 360,000 tonnes.