Atlas Iron Ltd. officially opened its Mount Webber mine in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. The official opening follows the start of mining activity in December 2013 and crushing and screening operations in June, with haulage operations set to commence on July 18.

Iron ore production at the project is commencing at a nominal rate of 3 million metric ton per year (mt/y) and is expected to ramp up to 6 million mt/y following the commissioning of the second phase expansion by the end of the year.

Western Australia Minister for Mines and Petroleum the Hon. Bill Marmion MLA officiated at the opening, following a welcome by senior elders of the Njamal people, the traditional owners of the land at Mount Webber.

Atlas Managing Director Ken Brinsden said Mount Webber was one of the company’s lowest-cost mine developments with outstanding capital efficiency of $35 per annualized ton of production and very competitive operating costs. “These lower capital and operating costs continue to improve our already strong position on the global cost curve, and against our peers in Australia,” Brinsden said. “The low $212 million capital cost of the project includes a substantial contribution towardsroad upgrades in the region.”

Mount Webber is the fifth mine that Atlas has developed and, according to the company, cements its ability to deliver cost-effective projects on schedule.