Hawsons Iron has formalised its partnership with Flinders Ports for the potential development and operation of a greenfield port at Myponie Point in South Australia.
The news comes after a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) was established between the two in June, with the binding agreement expanded to include the evaluation of lower tonnage options using existing rail and port infrastructure and possibly scaling production and export options over time.
Hawsons managing director Bryan Granzien said the agreement reflected the board’s decision to slow the pace of work on the Hawsons Iron project’s 20-million-tonne-per-annum (Mtpa) bankable feasibility study (BFS).
“Importantly, this agreement will enable us to collaboratively assess and agree on the optimum achievable port to support a revised BFS if required, including consideration of potential short and long-term solutions for our preferred site at Myponie Point,” he said.
“Flinders Ports fully understands our decision to consider scaling up the project’s production output and using existing rail and port infrastructure initially to reduce capital costs, and they could not be any more supportive.”
The agreement includes options to use the existing rail network and the construction of initial port infrastructure to support a barging operation at Myponie Point during the first stage of the project’s development.
There would then be scope to incorporate the direct-to-port underground slurry pipeline as the project expands.
“This approach at Myponie Point could deliver the best of both worlds through a lower output start-up operation at a lower capital cost and a clear pathway forward to expand production to 20Mtpa using the direct-to-port underground slurry pipeline,” Granzien said.
As part of the agreement and subject to further agreement in final transaction documents, it is envisaged that Flinders Ports would construct, own and operate the Myponie Point port, reducing the Hawsons Iron project’s capital requirements in the process, while enabling Hawsons to participate in future growth as the port’s ‘cornerstone’ customer.
Granzien said Hawsons Iron and Flinders Ports saw eye-to-eye on environmental, social and governance (ESG) and embedding these considerations into business processes and decision-making where possible.
“This milestone agreement with an operator of Flinders Ports’ calibre is an important step to our goal of meeting demand for high-grade products so essential for decarbonising steelmaking,” he said.
Flinders Port Holdings chief executive officer Stewart Lammin echoed Granzien’s sentiment.
“This agreement with Hawsons reflects our ongoing commitment to facilitating large-scale export projects from South Australia by leveraging existing infrastructure and exploring the development of new ports where necessary,” he said.
“The Hawsons project is an exciting prospect and aligns with our sustainability plan and aim to develop sustainable supply chains that meet the growing expectations of the market.”