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Murchison hails first Jack Hills iron ore shipment

<p>The first shipment of Jack Hills project iron ore would leave Geraldton for China today (Thursday, February 1), Murchison Metals said.</p> <p>The 70,029 dwt <em>Delray</em> (ex <em>Bulk Phoenix</em> , ex <em>SD Triumph</em> ), managed by Cardiff Marine, will take 61,000 tonnes to fulfil a BaaoMining order.</p> <p>&#8220The ramp-up of production is proceeding as planned and we expect to be at nominal production of 1.5m tonnes per annum within the next few months,&#8221 a proud executive chairman, Paul Kopejtka, said.</p> <p>&#8220This will also lay very strong foundations for the growth of Murchison Metals in the future as we continue the feasibility study into Stage 2 of the Jack Hills Project, targeting production of 25m tonnes of high-grade iron ore per annum.&#8221</p> <p>Meanwhile, an upgrade of berth five at the port of Geraldton should be completed by the end of the year, as iron ore miners looked to ramp up production, Western Australian infrastructure minister Alannah MacTiernan said yesterday.</p> <p>The Geraldton Port Authority has poured $18.5m into the project to ensure that a new 5,000 tonnes per hour shiploader and $8.3m of modifications to the berth are ready within 11 months.</p> <p>The port has been using its Berth 4 about 80% of the time, but it expects more capacity will be needed as the four miners &#8211 Mount Gibson Iron, Midwest Corp, Gindalbie Metals and Murchison &#8211 bring their operations on stream.</p> <p>Ms MacTiernan said the port authority had begun detailed studies of rail and unloading facilities to increase the inbound iron ore capacity.</p> <p>&#8220Miners forecast their annual production of hematite to grow from 5.5m tonnes per annum in 2006&#4707, to 13.2m tonnes per annum in 2010&#4711, with at least four iron mining companies using the port,&#8221 she said.</p> <p>Ms MacTiernan said that mining companies had been asked to guarantee their tonnage predictions with take-or-pay contracts.</p> <br />