Iron Knob is the birthplace of the steel industry in South Australia and was once home to the largest commercially-viable quantity of iron ore in Australia. Arrium Mining is now planning to re-enter the site, with work commencing on building roads and offices at the mining area in preparation for the commencement of full mining activities.
The plans are expected to help the company meet its target of maintaining export iron ore sales of approximately12 million tonnes per year for at least the next 10 years.
According to Arrium Mining’s General Manager Development Gavin Hobart, the company has been reclaiming iron ore over recent years from what were previously considered waste dumps, but is now developing the historic area in preparation for full mining for the first time since the late 1990s.
“The project is expected to include mining operations in the Iron Monarch and Iron Princess pits, as well as the construction of crushing and screening operations and the reinstatement of the rail line,” Mr Hobart said.
“Work on the rail line is vital to the efficiency and safety of these operations and will eliminate the need for regular trucking of iron ore from the site, therefore helping to minimise the amount of heavy traffic on that stretch of road.”
Mr Hobart said a vital aspect in all of this work was to develop a strong relationship with the local Barngarla people, working closely with them to ensure that mining activities respect the area’s Indigenous heritage sites and minimise impacts.
“We would like to acknowledge the support of the Barngarla people to-date in allowing mining to recommence in the area,” Mr Hobart said.
“The Iron Knob region is rich in Indigenous heritage sites, so we will continue to work closely with the Barngarla people once full mining is underway and look to develop a mutually beneficial relationship for the long-term.”
Mr Hobart said proactively engaging the Iron Knob community was also paramount in the development process.
“Since we commenced the trucking of ore last year, we have had ongoing community meetings and one-on-one consultation to ensure everyone’s needs are taken into consideration,” he said.
“We appreciate the support and guidance we have received to-date from the Iron Knob community and look forward to working closely with them going forward.”