AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Midwest pours feasibility funds into Weld Range

<p>Midwest Corporation has pushed ahead with a pre-feasibility study for its Weld Range hematite project in Western Australia’s iron ore-rich midwest region.</p> <p>Midwest and its multinational partner Sinosteel Corporation said positive results from a scoping study lead to the decision to commission a $41.5m study, of which Sinosteel will pay $17m.</p> <p>The deposit is believed to contain more than 225m tonnes of reserves, which Midwest hopes to mine at a rate of 15m tonnes each year for 15 years.</p> <p>The annual hematite volumes would dwarf the 1m tonnes Midwest is presently exporting from its Koolanooka and Blue Hills projects, which began early last year.</p> <p>Midwest hopes to uncover up to 400m tonnes at Weld Range, all of which is expected to be high grade iron ore.</p> <p>Further drilling is due to be completed during May, with the completion of the study by mid-2008.</p> <p>Midwest will need a 360-km heavy haul standard-gauge rail to take the product to a new deepwater port at Oakajee, 22km north of Geraldton. </p> <p>Rival iron ore miner Murchison Metals plans to operate at 25mtpa from its Jack Hills tenement, and also use the new rail and port infrastructure. </p> <br />