IRON ROAD GETS GREEN LIGHT ON AUSTRALIA'S LARGEST IRON ORE MINE

IRON ROAD GETS GREEN LIGHT ON AUSTRALIA'S LARGEST IRON ORE MINE

ADELAIDE'S Iron Road (ASX: IRD) will build the largest iron ore mine in Australia following the approval of a $4.5 billion project.

The Central Eyre Iron Project (CEIP), which is expected to create nearly 2,000 jobs during construction and 700 jobs over the 25-year life of the mine, received a mining lease and development approval from South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill.

To proceed with the CEIP, Iron Road has to fulfil 127 conditions, including the resolution of land access issues, continuous monitoring and public reporting of dust and noise emissions.

The only remaining primary government approval for the CEIP is under the Commonwealth environmental legislation.

South Australia has 14 billion tonnes of untapped magnetite, one of the main iron ores, but currently only mines about two million tonnes per year.

The approval of the CEIP will bring South Australia in line with the state's goal of exporting 50 million tonnes a year by 2020.

"We are now looking forward to the next stage of our development journey which will include further engagement with stakeholders," says Iron Road Managing Director, Andrew Stocks.

"The approvals we have received are a direct recognition by the South Australian Government of these and other significant direct benefits for the state."

South Australia Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, Tom Koutsantonis, emphasised the importance of the CEIP to the South Australian economy.

"This is an extremely important milestone in the Central Eyre Iron Project, which is the latest in a pipeline of magnetite projects under development in South Australia," says Koutsantonis.

"If this project proceeds to production it won't be a sugar hit to our economy, it will deliver 700 jobs over a 25-year mine life and will underpin the growth of a local industry with the capacity to supply an enormous global market."

Iron Road's project is underpinned by three major Chinese banks looking to fund the development.

China Development Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and China Construction Bank made formal expressions of interest in April to fund the debt component of the project worth US$3 billion.

Iron Road Limited is currently trading at $0.21, down 4.55 per cent

Business News Australia

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