Atlas Iron reported on July 1 that it has restarted mining of direct shipping iron ore at its Mount Webber mine in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Processing was scheduled to restart by mid-July. Mount Webber, which is targeting a production rate of 6 million metric tons per year (mt/y), is expected to make a meaningful contribution to the company’s planned year-end production rate of 14 million to 15 million mt/y from its three Pilbara mines.
Atlas suspended production at its Pilbara mines in April due to low iron ore prices. It restarted production at the Wodgina and Abydos mines in May with support from a collaboration agreement with its mining contractors (E&MJ, June 2015, p. 26). Wodgina and Abydos will produce at a combined rate of 9 million mt/y of direct shipping ore.
At its planned year-end production rate of 14 million to 15 million mt/y, Atlas anticipates that its break-even cost of production will have been lowered to approximately $50/dry mt.
Demand for both Atlas’ standard fines and lump products has been strong, as evidenced by reduced product discounts from recent sales, Flanagan said.