Hong Kong-based and dual-listed Brockman Mining (ASX: BCK) saw its shares soar on Friday after joint venture partner and local heavyweight Mineral Resources (ASX: MIN) agreed to provide $105 million for initial development work at the Marillana iron ore project in the Pilbara.
This follows Mineral Resources earning a 50% stake in the project, which has a resource of 1.5 billion tonnes of contained iron ore.
The latest development promotes Brockman into the ranks of the exclusive Pilbara iron ore club with planned production of 25Mt per annum.
The expected mine life is 25 years, and the average iron ore grade has been reported at between 60.5% and 61.5% after beneficiation.
Located near Newman, Marillana covers 82sq km bordering the Hamersley Range.
Surrounded by world-class iron ore projects
Brockman has said previously Marillana is one of the biggest hematite resources in the Pilbara outside the control of those big three players.
Marillana is located close to existing infrastructure, with BHP’s railway traversing the lease, Rio’s Yandicoogina mine 40km to the south and FMG’s Cloud Break mine approximately 35 km to the northeast.
The joint venture partners will export ore through Port Hedland.
Initial development works at Marillana are expected to take 42 months.
Once mining begins, transporting the iron ore to Port Hedland will be operated by Mineral Resources.
This is assumed by observers to involve a bulk-ore railway.
Key will be approval of berth at Port Hedland
It is planned that a dedicated berth will be constructed for Marillana at Port Hedland.
However, the port is already faced with capacity restraints so the joint venture partners will make a final investment decision only after the Western Australia Government confirms that a berth will be allocated for their iron ore shipments.
Mineral Resources, a major mining services company, will undertake the initial development work.
The two companies have been working on Marillana since 2018.