Atlas Iron Ltd. said that mining operations have recommenced at its Mount Webber mine in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Processing is planned to recommence mid-July with shipping to begin shortly thereafter.
Mount Webber is targeting 6 million metric tons per year (mt/y), which is a significant portion of Atlas Iron’s total 14- to 15-million-mt/y plan.
As a result of landmark agreements with BGC Contracting Pty Ltd. and other key contractors and suppliers, as well as significant cost reductions in corporate overheads, Atlas’ break-even cost of production is down to approximately USD$50/dmt1 (IODEX 62% Fe CFR China basis).
Atlas Managing Director David Flanagan said the company was delighted that mining operations were now back up and running at all three of its Pilbara iron ore mines, with a dramatically improved cost base to underpin strong cash flow generation and a more sustainable business. “With Mount Webber mining operations now back under way, Atlas is on track to grow production over the remainder of 2015 with significantly improved margins compared to operations pre-suspension, thanks in large part to the support of our key contractors and suppliers,” Flanagan said.
Sales are progressing well, according to the company, with a largely fully sold position now established for the third quarter and sales progressing into the fourth quarter, locking in the U.S. dollar iron ore price in respect of these sales. Demand for both Atlas’ Standard Fines and Lump products has been strong, as evidenced by reduced product discounts from recent sales.