Atlas Iron reported on May 15 that it had reached a collaboration agreement with mining contractors at its Wodgina and Abydos direct shipping ore mines in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, allowing a restart of production. Atlas suspended production at the mines in April due to low iron ore prices (E&MJ, May 2015, p. 16).

Abydos was already back in production at the time of the announcement, and Wodgina was expected to be back in production within a week. The two mines will produce about 9 million mt/y of direct shipping ore, the Atlas announcement said.

Atlas is also targeting a restart of production at its Mount Webber mine before the end of September, which would lift its total annual Pilbara production to 14 million to 15 million mt by year-end 2015.

The contractor agreement at the Wodgina and Abydos mines provides for a reduction of contractor charges when iron ore prices are low. In return, when iron ore prices allow Atlas to achieve positive operating cashflow, Atlas will pay 25% of the positive cashflow to the collaborating contractors.