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Nullagine Iron Ore Joint Venture (“NJV”)
The Company’s core focus is the Nullagine Iron Ore Project, a 75/25 joint venture with Fortescue Metals Group Limited that currently hosts a Probable Ore Reserve of 41.0Mt at 57.1% Fe from within a mineral resource of 108.7Mt at 54.1% Fe. Importantly, the iron ore occurs at surface, resulting in a simple mining and crushing process and low stripping ratios.
The NJV uses Fortescue’s infrastructure at Christmas Creek, 50km south of the mine, to rail its ore to Port Hedland from where it is then shipped directly to customers overseas.
BC Iron achieved a significant and historical milestone by successfully becoming the first junior mining company to access and utilise third party rail owned by a major company in the Pilbara in January 2011.
This was quickly followed by ‘first ore on ship’ or ‘FOOS’ and its first iron ore export in February 2011. BC Iron is the third company to use Fortescue’s Herb Elliott Port to export iron ore from Port Hedland showing third party access to rail and port infrastructure is a reality.
FY2012 was a record year for BC Iron which included exceeding four key NJV guidance targets:
- 3Mtpa production rate by 31 December 2011 (accomplished in November 2011)
- 1Mt of iron ore exported by 31 December 2011 (shipped 1.1Mt before 31 December 2011)
- 5Mtpa production rate by 30 June 2012 (achieved in May 2012)
- 3.5Mt of iron ore exported by 30 June 2012 (shipped 3.55Mt before 30 June 2012)
The NJV mined and shipped record tonnes in all four quarters during FY2012 and exported its largest cape size vessel of ~224,000t in June 2012.
In December 2012, BC Iron announced that it had entered into an agreement to increase its interest in the NJV from 50% to 75% (effective from 1 January 2013) while also reaching agreement with Fortescue to increase the available infrastructure capacity and hence production of the NJV to 6Mtpa with BC Iron’s attributable production being 4.5Mtpa.
BC Iron continues to focus on maximising the iron ore resources at the NJV and expanding the footprint of the BC Iron-Fortescue Joint Venture in the Pilbara.
BC Iron listed on the ASX in December 2006 and transitioned from an explorer to a producer in just over four years.