Mount Gibson was established in Perth in 1996 and listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) in 2002.
The Company commenced production at its first mine, Tallering Peak in the Mid West region of WA, in late 2003 and shipped its first cargo in early 2004, becoming WA’s first independent iron ore exporter in almost a decade. Tallering Peak exported over 25Mt by the time ore reserves were depleted and the mine closed in late 2014. Site rehabilitation was completed in 2015.
In early 2007, Mount Gibson acquired the high-grade Koolan Island mine 140km north of the Kimberley town of Derby, through its takeover of Aztec Resources Ltd. Mount Gibson completed recommissioning of the former BHP mine and commenced shipments in April 2007. Mining was interrupted in late 2014 by a seawall failure which flooded the Main Pit, by which time Koolan Island had exported in excess of 22Mt of ore for Mount Gibson. Production and sales of high-grade hematite recommenced in April 2019.
Mount Gibson commissioned its third mine at Extension Hill, 260km east of the Mid West city of Geraldton, in late 2011. The mine exported over 15Mt of iron ore by the time reserves at the Extension Hill deposit were depleted in late 2016, after which production commenced at the nearby Iron Hill deposit in early 2017. Iron Hill yielded over 5Mt of DSO iron ore by the time final sales were completed in February 2019. Sales of stockpiled low grade material from Extension Hill concluded in late 2020 after which the mine moved to final closure.
In late 2020, the Company commenced development of the Shine Iron Ore Project (SIOP), 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. 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, the Company suspended operations in late 2021 pending a sustainable improvement in market conditions.
The Company continues to assess options to generate additional value from its Mid-West assets, including its strategic export infrastructure at Geraldton Port, which continues to earn modest income from available capacity through short term commercial arrangements with third parties. Mount Gibson also continues to receive a partial refund on historic capital contributions to the Mid-West rail network, based on third-party rail haulage of certain sections of the network. The refund accrues quarterly, and is payable twice yearly, to a maximum of $35 million (indexed) expiring in 2031. As of 30 September 2022, the Company had received approximately $28 million under this arrangement.