Pilbara iron ore developer Flinders Mines reported in early March 2012 that Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) has approved a proposed A$554-million cash offer for Flinders by Russia’s Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works (MMK).

As announced by Flinders in November 2011, FIRB approval was a condition of the proposed acquisition agreement. Flinders’ board of directors has unanimously recommended that Flinders shareholders vote in favor of the acquisition.

MKK is targeting Flinders’ Pilbara Iron Ore Project (PIOP), located about 60 km northwest of Tom Price, Western Australia. In April 2010, Flinders announced the first indicated resource estimate at the project’s Delta deposit of 157 million mt grading 56.5% Fe and a global mineral resource of 550 million mt at 55.6% Fe. The global mineral resource was subsequently increased to 748 million mt in October 2010 and 917 million mt in November 2011.

In January 2011, Flinders announced positive results from a prefeasibility study of the PIOP that confirmed that the project is economically robust and technically viable. The study was conducted on the basis of an initial production rate of 5 million mt/y and then 15 million mt/y after year five. Following completion of a value-improvement study during the second quarter of 2011, Flinders announced that it would be targeting production of 15 million mt/y from start-up.