Hancock Prospecting and a consortium comprising POSCO, Marubeni Corp., and STX Corp. jointly announced on March 30, 2012, agreements for the consortium to acquire a 30% equity interest in Roy Hill Holdings (RHH), the holding company of the Roy Hill iron ore project in Western Australia.

The transaction is valued at about A$3.5 billion. Marubeni will take 12.5% of the project for A$1.5 billion, POSCO will take 15% for A$1.7 billion, and STX will take 2.5% for A$300 million. The consortium has also secured its proportionate share of project production, representing a combined 16.5 million mt/y of iron ore at full production.

The Roy Hill project is located along the eastern end of the Chichester Range in the Pilbara region of Western Australia and has a JORC-compliant resource of 2.32 billion mt grading 55.9% iron and a reserve of 851 million mt grading 59.3% iron. The project is being developed as a low-cost, fully integrated, open-pit mine, rail and port facility.

Roy Hill operations are scheduled to begin in 2014, and at full production, the mine is designed to deliver 55 million mt/y (wet) of premium quality lumps and fines iron ore to the seaborne iron ore trade for more 28 years.

The project includes a dedicated 342-km railway that will connect the mine to port facilities within the inner harbor at Port Hedland across a distance of about 277 km.

All necessary internal and regulatory approvals, including approval by the Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board, had been received at the time of the announcement, and the transaction was expected to close within 14 days.

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