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$250M+ metal mine approved to reopen

Roper Bar Iron Ore Mine
Roper Bar Iron Ore Mine

A diversified industrial group has the nod to proceed with reviving a metal operation in the Top End.

Britain-owned Nathan River Resources recently received regulatory approval to reopen the Roper Bar Iron Ore Mine, 600km southeast of Darwin.

Mine resurrected

The Northern Territory Government is allowing the operation, which was formerly owned by the now defunct Western Desert Resources, to reopen and add the following:

  • open pit mine using conventional trucks and shovels with potential for surface mining machinery
  • waste rock and/or overburden stockpile areas
  • run of mine pad
  • crushing plant
  • power generator
  • ancillary infrastructure
  • fly-in fly-out accommodation camp
  • on-lease haul roads and light vehicle access roads
  • 165km haul road with bridges between the mine and Bing Bong Port
  • covered conveyor to barge load out facility at Bing Bong Port.

250 jobs

The proponent has already revised the mine plan and reserves, finalised all licenses, permits, approvals and agreements. It also invested in crushing and screening equipment plus tugs, barges and other marine equipment. QMEB can reveal the project is worth more than $250 million.

An existing care and maintenance team is working at the site under strict social distancing rules. More than 250 new workers will be hired once NT Chief Health Officer Hugh Heggie approves the proponent’s COVID-19 Management Plan and mining operations resume. Production is expected to start no later than September 2020.

Positions will be advertised on parent company British Marine Group’s website.

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“Operations are scheduled to commence in quarter three this year, with more than 250 full-time positions expected across mining, haulage, marine and support functions,” Nathan River Resources CEO Stefan Murphy said in a public statement.

“We now look forward to working with our partners and suppliers in the territory to refurbish the project’s pit to port infrastructure over the coming months ahead of the resumption of iron ore exports.”

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