Resource industry leaders attended a workshop yesterday to develop the South Australian Government’s Magnetite Strategy, which will aim to secure $10 billion worth of committed investment in iron ore mining projects.
The proposed Strategy seeks to identify initiatives that can maximise the economic benefits of the State’s vast magnetite deposits.
South Australia Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy Tom Koutsantoni said the Magnetite Strategy Workshop – which was hosted by the Department of State Development at the Adelaide Convention Centre – marks the start of the process of identifying opportunities for growth in the sector.
He said securing the targeted investment within the next five years would represent a major step toward reaching the target of 50 million tonnes of iron ore exports a year by 2030.
“South Australia is blessed with vast magnetite deposits and the aim of this strategy is to leverage that natural endowment and transform it into investment, jobs and exports. If we can capitalise on these deposits and increase the amount of iron ore we export there will also be significant opportunities for growth and jobs in the supply chain around this industry,” the Minister said.
“We can’t drag our feet – South Australia needs to plan now so we can capitalise quickly when the inevitable upswing in the commodities cycle happens. South Australia is already recognised as a world-class exporter of copper and we want to see the state also gain a reputation as a source of high-quality magnetite.”
According to the Minister, positioning South Australia in the global marketplace as a secure and trusted supplier of quality magnetite product is key to the success of the Strategy.
“This strategy will help grow the mineral resources sector and provide jobs and growth in South Australia’s regional and remote communities,” Mr Koutsantoni added.
“The long-term Magnetite Strategy also seeks to establish South Australia as the foremost global source of quality magnetite product for steelmaking.”
South Australia’s magnetite is a naturally occurring high-grade iron oxide with low levels of impurities that greatly increases the efficiency of blast furnaces.
The state currently produces about 1.6 million tonnes a year of magnetite from the Middleback Ranges that is fed exclusively into the steelworks at Whyalla.
Extensive magnetite resources have been identified in the Eyre Peninsula and Braemar Province that could dramatically increase the volume of exports from South Australia.