The Hawsons Iron board has endorsed the larger of the two development options for its namesake iron ore project in New South Wales, citing superior economics and investor appeal.
This will see the company focus solely on developing the 20-million-tonne-per-annum (Mtpa) option it initially outlined in February, in place of the previously proposed 10Mtpa pathway.
Hawsons Iron said once the company upgraded the project’s mineral resource to 400 million tonnes in October 2021, it completed in-depth investigations into the best avenue forward.
“A deep dive analysis by Hawsons’ BFS (bankable feasibility study) team has confirmed the expected superiority of the 20Mtpa project’s potential environmental, social and governance (ESG) outcomes and project economics despite the increased expected capital cost,” the company said in a statement.
Hawsons Iron said it had also received strong customer and capital market feedback regarding the investment appeal of the 20Mtpa option.
Company chair Dave Woodall said the development of the 20Mtpa option would necessitate a review of the project’s schedule to allow for detailed design, approval and construction of the proposed underground slurry pipeline.
However, he said the company remained on track to release its BFS in December 2022, paving the way for first production in the second half of 2024.
“The team of leading global partners and specialists we’ve engaged to complete the BFS now have the additional information required to undertake detailed engineering design and update the project’s estimated delivery timetable, which we will release once completed,” Woodall said.
To support the 20Mtpa option, Hawsons Iron has executed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Flinders Ports regarding the potential development and operation of the Myponie Point port for the export of 20Mtpa of magnetite concentrate.
Under the MoU, it is envisaged that Flinders Ports would finance, construct, own and operate the Myponie Point port, reducing the Hawsons Iron project’s capital requirements in the process.
Hawsons Iron managing director Bryan Granzien said Myponie Port would be ready to export Hawsons’ 70 per cent iron (Fe) product in time for first production in the second half of 2024.